Many thanks to all organizers, volunteers, and community participants who made Hamilton’s Flood of 1913 Centennial Commemoration a resounding success! Saturday’s Community Festival at RiversEdge Amphitheater was a fitting endnote. Thanks to all the fine musicians, dancers, rowers, vendors, & folks turning out in throngs to enjoy the May sunshine.
While we’d like to thank each and everyone involved in planning, producing, and presenting Hamilton’s Flood Centennial Commemoration, space constraints make it impossible to do so individually. Special thanks, however, belongs to Richard O. Jones of the Hamilton Journal-News for his outstanding newspaper coverage of the centennial (Rick is one of a select group of people in attendance at every commemoration event).
Click below for Rick’s archive of Flood Centennial coverage (23 articles in all!).
- Hamilton Flood of 1913 Centennial Commemoration: Souvenir Gallery featuring photographs by Jack Armstrong
- News of scheduled programming and events for the Michael J. Colligan History Project, fall 2013
Stay posted folks, & enjoy the summer!
Assistant Director, Michael J. Colligan History Project
Saturday May 4, 2013
RiversEdge Park & Amphitheater, 200 Riverfront Plaza, Hamilton, Ohio
Join us for a celebration of Hamilton’s Future as a river city!
This regatta and music festival marks the finale of Hamilton’s 1913 Flood Centennial Commemoration, & welcomes RiversEdge Amphitheater as a community resource.
Schedule of events:
At the Great Miami River
10am-4pm Burgundy & Blue Regatta (Great Miami Rowing Center)
At RiversEdge Park & Amphitheater (emceed by Shaun Higgins)
1-2pm The Cincinnati Brass (Hamilton-Fairfield Symphony Orchestra)
2-3pm After the Flood: Dance-Theater (Demetrius Klein Dance Company)
3.30-5.30pm Stories and Songs of River Live (The Rabbit Hash String Band)
5.45-6pm Ceremonial Remarks (Mayor Pat Moeller, City of Hamilton; Curt Ellison, Flood Centennial Committee)
6-8pm Rockin’ the River (Blue Sacrifice)
No admission charges. Refreshments available. Lawn chairs & blankets welcome. A family-friendly, alcohol-free event. ADA compliant.
Parking is free at McDulin Parking Garage, 3rd & Market Streets.
Friday, May 3 @ 7pm
Miami Hamilton Downtown, 221 High St.
How can the Great Miami River, now protected by the Miami Conservancy District from devastating flooding, play an integral and positive role in our future? To close the 1913 Flood Commemoration, civic leaders will share their visions for the future of the Miami River Corridor. Moderated by Frances K. Mennone, Great Miami Rowing Center; featuring Mike Dingeldein, Community Design Alliance; John Granville, Butler County MetroParks; Stan Kegley, Ohio’s Great Corridor Association; Kimberly Munafo, YMCA; Joshua Smith, City of Hamilton.
Free, public event. Reception to follow.
Friday, April 26, 7pm.
Heritage Hall Museum, 20 High St., Hamilton.
Join us for a free premiere screening of this documentary feature film, produced by renowned filmmaker and historian Sam Ashworth. His documentary features over 500 flood photos and film clips supplied by local historical societies, including first hand accounts of the flood. It promises to be a truly memorable presentation!
Folks: with so many 1913 Flood Centennial events in Hamilton this spring, it’s a challenge to attend every one! With this in mind, the Colligan Project’s online video page archives recordings of talks and events, so you can watch them for the first time or any time. Our latest addition is “The Dam Lie That Saved Lives: Hamilton Family Stories of the 1913 Flood,” recorded March 26 at the Wilks Conference Center. Featuring indefatigable local historian Jim Blount, this unique event also showcases a number of remarkable family flood stories retold by Hamiltonians of today.
Assistant Director, Michael J. Colligan History Project
Wednesday, April 24, 7-8.30 pm
Miami University Hamilton Downtown, 221 High St., Hamilton.
Join us for another fascinating perspective on the Great Miami River Flood and its aftermath, as Hamilton native and construction historian Dan Antenen explores the ambitious construction of the Miami Conservancy District. This event is part of the City of Hamilton’s 1913 Flood Centennial commemoration, co-sponsored by the Michael J. Colligan History Project.
Metered parking is free after 5pm. This is a free public event. Reception to follow.
Another voice recovered from the Hamilton Flood of 1913, following the earlier posting on this website of Marion Hooven Hallowell’s oral testimony. In this 15 minute, 23 second recording the late RoseMary Vogt Riegert reflects on her experiences as a flood survivor. The interview was conducted by her daughter Rosie in 1982, at which time RoseMary (b. 1905) was 77 years old. RoseMary was the youngest of seven children, whom she names in the recording (Clara, Agnes, Mayme, Lillian, Leona, and Ferd). Her parents were Clara Holbrock Vogt and Joseph Vogt.
Many thanks to Kristie Bunger for bringing this recording to us, and to Aaron Renner at Miami University Hamilton for converting it to its current digital format.
Click below to listen (note: this recording includes some background noise).
Kathy Creighton and Richard Piland
Wednesday April 17, 7.30 pm
Butler County Historical Society, 327 N. 2nd Street
Flood Drama at BCHS
Make plans to join us at 7:30 p.m. on the evening of April 17, 2013 when the Butler County Historical Society presents “The 1913 Flood, as seen through the eyes of Lutie and Homer Gard, Hamilton, Ohio”. Based on the letters written by Lutie and Homer Gard to Lutie’s sister, Lillian Matthias, during the 1913 flood, the evening will give you a sense of what it was like to live during those harrowing days.
The letters were donated to the Butler County Historical Society by Betty Lewis Rump, the niece of Ethelyne Gard Gramm, Homer Gard’s second wife. They were transcribed by Richard Piland, who found them when researching the Gard family for a book he was writing about Hamilton’s leaders. Piland also wrote the script for this special performance.
The production will be staged in the Emma Ritchie Auditorium and is free and open to the public
*** further announcement***
A Time of Terror – Personal Stories from the Neighborhoods During the 1913 Flood, is now open at BCHS. The exhibit tells first hand accounts from the 1913 flood. Also included are stories about the animals and how they were affected by the rising water.
BCHS is also working on compiling a complete list of all of the victims of the 1913 flood. Official accounts from 1913 list 200 victims, but we have already compiled over 400 names of people who either are missing, drowned or died from complications that were a direct result of the event. If you had a family member who perished as a result of the flood, please contact us to be sure that they are included in the account. We are working on a special commemorative book for all of the victims that will become a permanent part of the flood archives. We are also interested in collecting pictures and background information for these people.
The exhibit is in the basement of the Emma Ritchie Auditorium and will be open throughout the summer. Please make plans to stop by and see this special exhibit.
Hosted by Jim Blount, Hamilton Historian
Wednesday, April 10 @ 7.30 pm
Harry T. Wilks Conference Center, Miami University Hamilton
Jim Blount interviews Tom Rentschler, the fourth member of a distinguished Hamilton family to serve on the board of the Miami Conservancy District. Mr Rentschler was a member 29 years from 1982-2011, and was succeeded by his son Mark G. Rentschler. His father Walter A. Rentschler, served from 1950-1975. Predecessors included Gordon S. Rentschler, a member of the first M.C.D. board 1915-1932, and George A. Rentschler, 1932-1950. Tom Rentschler had a career of more than three decades at Fifth Third Bank and The Citizens Bank, and served two terms in the Ohio House of Representatives.