1937 flood


1933  FLOOD

Reproduction 1933 flood.jpg (215855 bytes)

   1933 was unusual in that there were 2 floods that year. The first crested at 63.6' on March 21. The second crested at 54.1' on May 15. The post card above is a modern reproduction of, I believe, the second somewhat minor flood in May.


1937  FLOOD

37 Flood Stages Hour-by-hour.jpg (354733 bytes)
Hour-By-Hour Flood Stages

   The flood of 1937 was the highest the Ohio had ever risen since any type of records were kept. The very first recorded one in 1773 was measured at 76', which if true would have been the worst flooding of the area until the 1937 one. Of course how accurate that one was is debatable. The official height of the 1937 flood is listed at 79.99 feet. If this number seems rather odd to you, it is and it has long been debated on. Rumor has it, (but has never been proven) that had it officially reached 80 feet double indemnity clauses in certain insurance contracts might have become effective, and the companies would likely have been thrown into bankruptcy. For all practical purposes, the Weather Bureau now accepts 80 feet. If you look closely at the chart above you will actually see 80' listed for 8 hours! When the crest was reached 11 of Cincinnati's 72 square miles was under water. Just picture this and I will shut up, Home Plate at Crosley Field was under 20 feet of water.
  The photo below shows the Island Queen trapped between the bridges. The Queen and her wharf boat drifted several blocks from her spot at the foot of Broadway.

Island Queen trapped by 1937 flood.jpg (500105 bytes)
Not a postcard


   1937 flood as seen from the Union Central Building, Cincinnati, OH - looking southeast at the ramp to the Roebling Suspension Bridge. Taken January 1937 by Nelson Ronsheim (copyright 2009, Michael G Smith)

Walnut St, Suspension Bridge to right.jpg (96529 bytes)
Not a postcard


Crosley-37 flood.jpg (66205 bytes)                                        Way Back-3.jpg (93546 bytes)
         Crosley Field                                                           card showing water nearly
                                                                                               covering lower grandstand


1937 Flood 1.jpg (106644 bytes)        1937 Flood 2.jpg (105729 bytes)        1937 Flood 4.jpg (88379 bytes)        1937 Flood 5.jpg (119009 bytes)
Salvation Army roof                     Union Terminal                         Ludlow Viaduct                      Industrial District 


1937 Flood 6.jpg (110785 bytes)        1937 Flood 7.jpg (123011 bytes)        1937 Flood 12.jpg (96233 bytes)
Suspension Bridge                 Fire in Cumminsville                 foot of Sycamore St.


1937 Flood 9.jpg (114168 bytes)        1937 Flood 11.jpg (119110 bytes)        37 Flood Miami River Bridge.jpg (130772 bytes)        1937 Flood 18.jpg (129464 bytes)
    Coney Island                             Coney Island                     Big 4 & B&O Bridge               Suspension Bridge
                                                                                                           Over Big Miami                 across the top of card


1937 Flood 3.jpg (104145 bytes)        1937 Flood 13.jpg (94698 bytes)        1937 Flood 14.jpg (100623 bytes)        1937 Flood 17.jpg (64262 bytes)
      L. & N. Bridge                    View over Central Bridge           East End Union Levee           Columbia Power Station


Flood-bridges.jpg (119827 bytes)        1937 Flood-Gas-Electric.jpg (247627 bytes)        CUT 37 Flood.jpg (178008 bytes)        1937 Flood 8.jpg (122542 bytes)
L. & N and Central Bridges         Union Gas & Electric           Cincinnati Union Terminal                  Beachmont ramp         
Newport, KY at top                                                                                                                                                                    


37 Flood Beechmont Levee.jpg (96399 bytes)    Beechmont Levee, East End-37.jpg (95234 bytes)            1937 Flood 10.jpg (119991 bytes)    Beechmont Levee Bridge-37.jpg (125754 bytes)
      Beechmont Levee  East End                                                Beechmont Bridge Over Little Miami


Newtown 37 Flood.jpg (290614 bytes)        Old Fort Country Club.jpg (237751 bytes)
Both of These Cards Are in The Newtown Area


1937 Flood 21 vert.jpg (132809 bytes)                1937 Flood 22 vert.jpg (129872 bytes)                1937 Flood 23 vert.jpg (128527 bytes)


1937 Flood 15.jpg (77412 bytes)        1937 Flood 16.jpg (80028 bytes)        1937 Flood 19.jpg (149755 bytes)       1937 Flood 20.jpg (167496 bytes)
Lunken Airport                          Lunken Airport                   Union Terminal in center                 Cumminsville    

   The area around Lunken Airport is the site of the original Cincinnati. The original settlers had to move down river to the slightly higher elevation of the present Cincinnati because of the very bad flooding in this area.


1937 Flood 24.jpg (88333 bytes)        Flood-Spring Grove.jpg (59730 bytes)        37 flood-lower Price Hill.jpg (65929 bytes)
George Schorr Co. Interior          2730 Spring Grove Ave.                 Lower Price Hill          

   The George Schorr Co. was located at 1 West Pearl St. and was a wholesaler of notions.


Cumminsville fire 1.jpg (165949 bytes)          Cumminsville fire 2.jpg (171591 bytes)          Cumminsville fire 3.jpg (188779 bytes)          Cumminsville fire 4.jpg (136926 bytes)

  All four of these cards are views of the huge fire caused by gas storage tanks overturning and catching fire during the 1937 flood. Called The Black Sunday Fire it took more than 12 hours to put out and burned over three and a half square miles causing  $1.5 million in damages (in depression day dollars).


Zanol 37 Flood folder.jpg (71408 bytes)        Zanol flood back.jpg (220269 bytes)        Zanol Pic 1.jpg (269625 bytes)        Zanol Pic 2.jpg (222747 bytes)
The Zanol Products Co. (no information) This folder contains 14 pictures, (2 shown), of the 1937 Flood



street Railway Flood Phamplet (1).jpg (439828 bytes)    street Railway Flood Phamplet (2).jpg (405270 bytes)    street Railway Flood Phamplet (3).jpg (513520 bytes)    street Railway Flood Phamplet (4).jpg (466325 bytes)    street Railway Flood Phamplet (5).jpg (404367 bytes)

street Railway Flood Phamplet (6).jpg (475686 bytes)    street Railway Flood Phamplet (7).jpg (437814 bytes)    street Railway Flood Phamplet (8).jpg (436359 bytes)    street Railway Flood Phamplet (9).jpg (430936 bytes)



1937 Flood Book (1).jpg (906224 bytes)    37a.jpg (971791 bytes)    1937 Flood Book (2).jpg (302736 bytes)    1937 Flood Book (5).jpg (373461 bytes)    1937 Flood Book (6).jpg (388261 bytes)


1937 Flood Book (7).jpg (399402 bytes)    1937 Flood Book (8).jpg (650734 bytes)    1937 Flood Book (13).jpg (703615 bytes)    1937 Flood Book (14).jpg (531468 bytes)    1937 Flood Book (15).jpg (443672 bytes)


1937 Flood Book (9).jpg (580643 bytes)      1937 Flood Book (10).jpg (593052 bytes)      1937 Flood Book (11).jpg (683039 bytes)      1937 Flood Book (12).jpg (667727 bytes)      1937 Flood Book (3).jpg (213484 bytes)      1937 Flood Book (4).jpg (433254 bytes)


37-3.jpg (2002531 bytes)      37-6.jpg (2199693 bytes)      37-7.jpg (1736420 bytes)      37-9.jpg (1795854 bytes)


37-11.jpg (1937376 bytes)      37-12.jpg (2034031 bytes)      37-8.jpg (1690698 bytes)      37-10.jpg (1661450 bytes)


37-1.jpg (1230957 bytes)      37-2.jpg (1012231 bytes)      37-4.jpg (2006606 bytes)      37-5.jpg (2168233 bytes)



   The following images are not postcards. I have come into possession of a group of photographs with detailed descriptions on the backs of most of them.

1937 Flood.jpg (137720 bytes)        1937 Flood (2).jpg (122102 bytes)        1937 Flood (3).jpg (133186 bytes)        1937 Flood (4).jpg (125052 bytes)
#1                                                #2                                                #3                                                #4

   #1-The Island Queen and her wharf boat being towed to a new mooring. #2-View of Pearl St. with Island Queen in the distance and water still rising. #3- corner of Broadway and Pearl. Writer explains that this area is where fruit dealers set up their stands. You can see police in their boats bring people from their homes to dry land. #4- Bellevue (left) and Newport KY. (right) as seen from Mt. Adams. In between is where a ballpark was located.


1937 Flood (5).jpg (134327 bytes)        1937 Flood (6).jpg (169359 bytes)        1937 Flood (7).jpg (155512 bytes)        1937 Flood (8).jpg (107055 bytes)
#5                                                #6                                                #7                                                #8

   #5-A warehouse at 4th & Smith Sts. with gas company behind it. Writer states that at no time was the city not without gas, although the phone, water and electric services were discontinued.  #6- Broadway with the levee on the right. The collapsed building apparently trapped some people. #7-Near L & N Bridge at 3rd and Butler. Writer states that no one was allowed into Jones Restaurant without a pass to take pictures, and that they had no whiskey to sell by-the-glass for many a day, besides which the area was patrolled by the National Guard. #8- 3rd & Central with wreckage obstructing the view to the river straight ahead.


1937 Flood (9).jpg (157280 bytes)        1937 Flood (10).jpg (155092 bytes)        1937 Flood (11).jpg (195024 bytes)        1937 Flood (12).jpg (181125 bytes)
  #9                                               #10                                               #11                                                #12

   #9-This street is not identified by the writer, he calls it the Clinic block because he apparently had a clinic behind the camera. The view is facing the Ohio River and the writer states that the water had several more feet to rise and says due to the inclination of the street the water never reached his clinic that was on the next corner. #10-Scene after the flood at Coney Island. Writer states that these lockers were cemented down and thus were not washed away. The lockers he is referring to are the ones at Sunlite Pool. That is Kellogg Ave. at the bottom of the photo with looking over Sunlite above it. The pumping and circulation apparatus is seen near the center of the image. The lockers were located in the dressing rooms and shower area. #11-(Probably Eastern Ave.) A garage that had floated into its present position. #12-Eastern Avenue. A flat-bottomed boat that was used during the flood can be seen. The Red Cross pleaded for all these borrowed boats to be returned as most of them were abandoned.


1937 Flood (13).jpg (158799 bytes)        1937 Flood (14).jpg (171352 bytes)        1937 Flood (15).jpg (173101 bytes)        1937 Flood (16).jpg (212478 bytes)
 #13                                              #14                                              #15                                               #16

   #13-Eastern Ave. The 2nd floor of this house floated off the 1st floor and fell over when the flood receded. #14-Stanley and Kellogg Aves, just off Eastern Ave. The house floated onto its side and landed on the gas station lot. #15-(Eastern Ave?) One house floated onto the top of another house which collapsed when water receded. #16-Area referred to as "Turkey Bottom" near Eastern Ave. A graveyard of floating homes. The area refered to is south of Lunken Airfield along the Ohio between, roughly, Delta Ave. on the west to Wilmer Ave. on the east end.


1937 Flood (17).jpg (147251 bytes)

   House in the "Bottoms" The white square on the far left center is a sign "Condemned by B. of  H." (Board of Health.)
   I would like to thank Justin Lynch for help in identifying some of these images.

   I have taken present day photographs of the areas shown in the next group of 1937 flood photographs. I have tried to obtain the same angle that was used but due to changes it is not always possible to be completely  accurate.

American Can Co..jpg (131114 bytes)    American Can Co flood.jpg (226704 bytes)                        Apple & Knowlton.jpg (157526 bytes)    Apple & Knowlton flood.jpg (187825 bytes)
American Can Co. Northside                                                                    Apple & Knowlton Sts. Northside


Blur Rock from Jo Williams.jpg (175896 bytes)    Blue Rock from Jo Williams flood.jpg (193813 bytes)                        Chase & Chambers.jpg (148510 bytes)    Chase & Chambers flood.jpg (171868 bytes)
Blue Rock ST. from Jo Williams St. Northside                                                Chase Ave. & Chambers St. Northside     


Hamilton & Moline.jpg (164744 bytes)    Hamilton & Moline flood.jpg (250825 bytes)                    Molina Court.jpg (143051 bytes)    Moline Court flood.jpg (222673 bytes)
Hamilton Ave. at Moline Court Northside                                                            Moline Court Northside               


Township & Henshaw.jpg (466613 bytes)    Township & Henshaw Ave 37 flood.jpg (259429 bytes)
Henshaw & Township Camp Washington


BEV 1937 Fllod Suspension Bridge.jpg (1763030 bytes)
Suspension Bridge




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