Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Historic Delaware River Series Explores 1955 Flood - 8/18/19

Historic Delaware River Series Explores 1955 Flood
Sunday, August 18, 2019

Learn about the deadly Delaware River flood of 1955 that killed nearly 100 people, destroyed bridges and washed away homes and summer camps at the Hunterdon Land Trust Farmers Market on Sunday, August 18 at 10:00 am. The market is located at the Dvoor Farm, 111 Mine Street, Flemington, NJ.

In the Hunterdon Land Trust’s second Historic Delaware River Series program, Mary A. Shafer, author of Devastation on the Delaware: Stories and Images of the Deadly Flood of 1955, will discuss in words and images the terrifying flood and its tragic aftermath on the 64th anniversary of the event.

In August of 1955, two hurricanes slammed into the Carolinas and charged north. By the time they hit the Hunterdon County area, both had weakened to tropical storms, but dumped heavy rains all through the Delaware Valley.

Ferry and Main Streets, Lambertville, NJ, 1955
From the river’s headwaters in the Catskills down through the Poconos, excessive runoff surged down steep mountain slopes and sluiced through valleys on both sides of the river. Tributaries swelled to incredible heights, some rising thirty feet in fifteen minutes. Eventually, they all poured into the Delaware, transforming the usually placid waters into a raging, uncontrollable beast, Shafer noted.

Lambertville, Milford, Frenchtown and other communities along the river were inundated with the brown, turgid waters. Cars floated down streets, mountain resorts were washed away. More than 400 children were evacuated by helicopter from island camps.

Shafer’s book chronicles the experiences of survivors and eyewitnesses to bring the story of the flood chillingly to life. Her book includes more than 100 historical images – a number of them quite rare.

The Historic Delaware River Series is sponsored by the National Park Service's Lower Delaware Wild and Scenic Program, which aims to protect the natural, cultural and historic value of the Delaware River

This is the second of three programs HLT is offering as part of this series. The series concludes on September 8 at 3:00 pm, when journalist Rick Epstein leads a walking tour of historic Frenchtown. Space is limited for the walking tour; register in advance by emailing or calling 908-237-4582.

All programs in this series are free.

The Farmers’ Market is open 9:00 am to 1:00 pm and features more than 20 local farmers and vendors offering produce, beef, pork, chicken, honey, artisan breads, cheese, flatbread pizzas and salads made with farm-fresh ingredients, locally roasted coffee, and more.

Lisa Perry will lead Yoga at the Farmers’ Market at 8:00 am in the wagon house. Cost is $15. Michael Knox performs in the music tent from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm.

You can also purchase raffle tickets at the Farmers’ Market for a chance to win a week-long stay at an oceanfront condo in Maui. Proceeds benefit Hunterdon Land Trust’s efforts to protect the places you love.

Farmers’ Market sponsors are Basil Bandwagon Natural Market, Northfield Bank, Matt’s Red Rooster Grill, and McPherson and Newland Insurance.

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