Johnstown in Cambria County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
On May 31, 1889, Washington Street became one of the main paths of destruction for the raging flood wave from the broken South Fork Dam. There were two buildings on this site: the office residence of Mrs. Hettie Ogle - the Western Union telegraph and central telephone operator - and the public library, built and owned by the Cambria Iron Company. Both were reduced to a pile of debis held in place by the library's iron girders. Mrs. Ogle and her daughter Minnie were lost and their bodies never identified.
Andrew Carnegie, steel magnate and member of the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club, volunteered to rebuild the library, spending over $55,000 on it. This building, designed by Philadelphia architect Addison Hutton, was dedicated on February 19, 1892.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Charity & Public Work • Disasters • Education • Man-Made Features. A significant historical month for this entry is February 1889.
Location. 40° 19.677′ N, 78° 55.233′ W. Marker is in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, in Cambria County. Marker is at the intersection of Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 304 Washington Street, Johnstown PA 15901, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Oklahoma House (a few steps from this marker); Cambria Iron Company Office (within shouting distance of this marker); Walnut Street Bridge (within shouting distance of this marker); Morley's Dog (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); 1936 Greater Johnstown Flood Victims (about 800 feet away); Market Square (about 800 feet away); World War II Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Grand Army of the Republic Hall (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Johnstown.
Also see . . .
1. Johnstown Flood Museum. (Submitted on March 26, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Historic American Buildings Survey history of the Cambria/Johnstown Library. HABS statement of significance:The library owes its original existence and reconstruction to the steel industry. In 1877, the Cambria Iron Company gave the Washington Street site to the Cambria Library Association, and two years later the original library was built. Greatly damaged in the 1889 flood, the library was rebuilt with an endowment from Andrew Carnegie; the Johnstown library was one of the steel (Submitted on February 6, 2015.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on March 26, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 477 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on March 26, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.