1938 Deerfield River Flood Mark - Town Hall - Wilmington, VT
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Marine Biologist
N 42° 52.101 W 072° 52.266
18T E 673896 N 4748393
A 1938 high water mark is located on the Town Hall, which houses both the town's government offices and the police department, in Wilmington, Vermont, USA.
Waymark Code: WMA49P
Location: Vermont, United States
Date Posted: 11/14/2010
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member Sprinterman
Views: 5

"The Flood of 1938

Story by Bette Reynolds

On a sunny, windy, 40 degree afternoon in February, Janet Barber Pool and I look over original snapshots of the effects of the 1938 hurricane flood. She reminisces of her experiences with the natural disaster in Wilmington.

As we gaze out of her window onto the sunlit slopes of Mount Haystack from her cozy living room, she remembers clearly the events of sixty years ago that occurred on Wednesday, September 21, 1938.

Her husband William walked back to the Grand Union, where he was employed, to retrieve the cashbox of the day's transactions. The flood waters had risen to such a level that he was forced to utilize a ropetow to wade back to their home, which at the time was on higher ground on East Main Street near the Congregational Church.

Janet's sister Muriel Barber was a schoolteacher who taught grades 1 through 8 in a one-room schoolhouse in Wilmington. School was let out early that day because of the flood. Phone lines were down, the baseball field was flooded and the grandstand floated away. The water main burst under the West Main Street bridge. Janet was working at her father, Merton Barber's, insurance company. Her father lived in Montpelier. She also left work early and went home to offer her relatives a place to stay while their own homes were filling up with water.

Residents looking out of their windows or safely standing on porches out of the flood's harm were entertained by floating debris and household furniture and appliances making their way past the houses. Merton Barber's trophy-mounted deer heads with full antler racks also drifted aimlessly through the muddy waters. Flagship

Most inhabitants of the town drove a horse and buggy. Few possessed an automobile.

Also cancelled that year was the Deerfield Valley Farmers day, which in 1938 was held for one day and scheduled on the day of the disaster.

The next day, the Deerfield River was well within its banks again and the sun shone brightly. Luckily, no one in Wilmington was drowned.

Today, to commemorate the occasion, the high water mark of six feet may be seen on the police station building at the corner of East and North Main streets."

-- Source

Natural or man made event?: Natural

What type of marker?: Painted line

When did this occur?: September 21, 1938

Website related to the event..: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:
A picture showing the level along with any markers telling of what had occurred can be used. Better yet would be a picture of you or someone standing next to the high level mark, that would show if you would have been just wading or completely submersed.
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