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About Clarion County

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The Great Tornado -- 1860

From Caldwell's Illustrated Historical Combination Atlas of Clarion Co., Pennsylvania.  Published by J. A. Caldwell, 1877.

The Great Tornado of May 30th, 1860, passed over Maysville at about half-past 11 o'clock, A.M.  The storm appeared in the west, and to the observer seemed to roll over, something of the fashion of a wagon wheel, carrying with it timber, boards, shingles, parts of buildings, bed clothes -- and even animals of different kinds were driven by the velocity of the wind miles away from the farms on which they belonged.  Horses at work in the fields were stripped of their harness.  In Maysville, there were two hotels, one store, grist-mill, four or five dwellings, in fact the whole town was completely demolished.  The grist-mill was totally destroyed; the burrs, four and a half feet in diameter, were carried about one hundred feet and deposited in the river.  The bridge across the creek at Maysville was completely blown away.  The saw-mill was also entirely destroyed.

Mr. Nathan House's child, of five years old, was instantly killed.  Mrs. McFarland was killed by a piece of pine board, which was driven into her stomach; Hiram Baughman was killed by a new wagon blowing over him, one of the wheels striking him on the head, crushing his skull; Mrs. Nathan House had a leg cut off by a large stone falling out of the cellar wall, and she died of the effects of it about two years afterwards; a blacksmith by the name of Hetric [sic], escaping from the debris of his shop, ran eight miles, bare-headed and bare-footed, and brought up in very good time at his sister's, in Troy, Jefferson County.

Extensive Flooding -- January, 1996

There was extensive flooding in January, 1996

Devastating Flood -- July, 1996

Flooding in July, 1996, caused millions of dollars in damage.  It wiped out 8 bridges and overflowed Piney Dam.  The town of New Bethlehem was hardest hit.

The Clarion News published a limited edition book, Raging Waters, in December, 1996.  The book contains an illustrated story of the July 19, 1996, flood.  Contact the newspaper on-line or write to P. O. Box 647, Clarion, PA 16214 (phone 814-226-7000) for details.

Some links to information about this flooding:

Other Disasters

There have been other disasters in Clarion County.  They will be included here as information is compiled.

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