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New Martinsville Flood of 1936


Communities of Wetzel County


By Martha Allen

Clark St, New Martinsville

1936 Age 16 years

Submitted by Martha Allen's daughter Mariana Zuelsdorf.

It has been 23 years since we had our last flood--way behind my time. I have experienced several small floods but none like this one.

There was very little talk, before the flood, of it coming. On Tues. the teachers in school said come tomorrow; on Wed. morning, March 18, mother woke me at 8:00 o'clock and we began carrying what we could upstairs. I never knew I could carry such loads, we packed every dish in all the cupboards and I really did work. Tom Bennett helped Daddy carry the heavy things up. By Wed. nite, the water was up about on the 3rd. step to the porch; Skippy sat on one step and then when the water came on it, he moved up another, just sat looking at it. Everything is out of the downstairs. Nothing was left.

We forgot to bring the hotplate up from the basement so we cooked on the bathroom stove -- about a foot square -- when we had beans, we handed the pot uncooked to Tom, in our boat, from the window and he carried them over to his mother's window and we got them back the same way after she had cooked them. Even though it was awful thinking we might have to go up another floor, it was an exciting experience.

On Thurs. morning very early it was the highest, in our house it was 5' 3". That afternoon we went for a boat ride with Tom and to get out, we had an ironing board from the balistrade to the window, and a board from the steps to the ironing board; you should have seen Mother crawling out the window.

Friday I took a boat ride by myself -- but I ran into everything possible-- trees, posts, etc. Mud was everywhere-- they brought the firehose over on this street to clean it off, after so much time they did get it cleaned. We tore paper from the wall forever and forever, it seemed. We took every bit off the living and dining room, and hall, but the kitchen is OK. Mother took all the varnish off the woodwork, my but it was a job but looks so nice now. The floors were sanded. The old wooden mantel split and mirror cracked so Daddy built a new light brick one, very pretty and so neat. They are papering the living room now (May 20, 1936), dining room is done.

I forgot to say we sent our Frigidare and piano to Sistersville and stove to Uncle Frank's. I am so sorry Joe missed the flood. Tom and Dick picked up chairs and little stools from the water which had floated away. At the Church it was just to the top of the circles above the steps. Eight feet in Court house and Post office. Second raise several days later but not very much. Skippy had a awful time. Missed two weeks school. Gas never off here -- sometimes tho over town, water and current off some but not much. Took Typhoid shots because of fear for water.

(Skippy was a dog. Tom and Dick Bennett were sons of David Calder and Lucy Allen Bennett)