1873 Flood, Nelsonville, Ohio.

The 1873 flood of the Hocking River caused the collapse of the covered bridge in Nelsonville. Still standing in the background is the railroad bridge. The people are facing west and south on a hill overlooking the city.

Athens, Ohio near present-day Lasher Hall
The familiar buildings of the old mental health hospital are on the hill in the background

Now called The Ridges, the old hospital grounds today host a nature preserve, an art museum, and various university research and service programs. Following the calamitous flood of 1968, the path of the Hocking River was rerouted in Athens by the US Army Corps of Engineers to prevent flooding in the city. So far, the project has worked well.

1907 flood in Glouster, Ohio

March 1907, Athens, Ohio Flood - All rivers flowing southward into the Ohio River reached flood stage during March 14-17, 1907. More than 4 inches of rain fell across the southern third of Ohio during March 12-14, with the heaviest rain, 5 to 6 inches, in band from Cincinnati eastward to Athens and Noble County. There were 32 deaths reported in Ohio. Dozens of homes in Athens were swept away, overturned, or lifted off their foundations by the raging Hocking River. There were 15 deaths along the Hocking River at Athens and Nelsonville. At Waverly, the Scioto River washed out every railroad leading into the city. Six hundred people were forced from their homes in Zanesville. The Miami River reached flood stage from its upper reaches at Sidney downstream through Dayton, Miamisburg, and Hamilton, causing major damage in many neighborhoods. As the flood waters moved into the Ohio River, a flood extended downstream from Pittsburgh past Cincinnati. Six people drowned at Steubenville. At Marietta, the Ohio River rose 30 feet in two days, reaching the highest level since 1884 and leaving 5,000 homeless. Portsmouth was inundated by the flood, but with temperatures reaching 70 degrees on Sunday March 17th, "thousands took advantage of the fine weather to row about the city's streets."

1907 Flood, Athens, Ohio

Lives Lost and Property Destroyed. Eleven Dead in Athens County

Athens, O., March 16.--The raging waters of the Hocking river have claimed seven lives in this city and four elsewhere in the county, and for several days Athens has been cut off from the world, telephone and telegraph wires all being down. Communication by telephone has been restored. Those drowned in Athens are: ED SWEET, single; ALBERT SWEET, married, painter; MR. TURNER and WIFE; MR. YOUNG; CHARLES BEAHRS, hack driver; OTTO BARTH, a miller. All the persons, with the exception of Barth, were in one skiff, the boat being in charge of Ed Sweet and Beahrs when it was capsized. The other drownings occurred at Nelsonville, where three lost their lives, and one at Trimble. The roadway of the Baltimore Ohio railway north of the river broke, allowing the waters to rush into the city. Fifty houses were swept away, and 50 more are tottering on their foundations. A thousand persons are homeless and are being cared for in churches and halls.

Coshocton Daily Age, Coshocton, OH 16 Mar 1907

Photo of the Midway Livery (owned by John R. Roberts) in Murray City, Ohio, after the flood of 1907. (Murray City is located in Ward Township, Hocking County, Ohio)

Chauncey Flood, 1913