1937 Ohio River flood in Ironton   Save
Ohio Guide Photographs
Description: In January and February of 1937, weeks of heavy rainfall caused the Ohio River to flood parts of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky, causing $500 million in property damages, and displacing and killing hundreds. By the end of January, the Ohio River measured 80 feet deep in Cincinnati, one of the areas most affected. This photograph shows a flooded commercial street in Ironton, Ohio, a city of 20,000 inhabitants. Pictured here is the intersection of 3rd and Center Streets, with S.S. Kresge Co. five and dime, Peoples' Credit Clothing, and Gallager Drugs on the left. Ironton was the home of lucrative iron and cement plants, as well as lumber and mining interests. President Roosevelt dispatched thousands of relief workers from the Works Progress Administration to rescue flood victims and restore affected cities. In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Works Progress Administration by executive order to create jobs for the large numbers of unemployed laborers, as well as artists, musicians, actors, and writers. The Federal Arts Program, a component of the Works Progress Administration, included the Federal Writers’ Project for which each state had a number of writers hired by the federal government. One of the primary goals of the Federal Writers’ Project was to complete the American Guide Series, a series of guidebooks for each state which included state history, art, architecture, music, literature, and points of interest to the major cities and tours throughout the state. Work on the Ohio Guide began in 1935 with the publication of several pamphlets and brochures. The Reorganization Act of 1939 consolidated the Works Progress Administration and other agencies into the Federal Works Administration, and the Federal Writers’ Project became the Federal Writers’ Project in Ohio. The final product was published in 1940 and went through several editions. The Ohio Guide Collection consists of 4,769 photographs collected for use in Ohio Guide and other publications of the Federal Writers’ Project in Ohio from 1935-1939. View on Ohio Memory.
Image ID: SA1039AV_B08F11_001_1
Subjects: Storefronts--United States--Pictorial works; Floods; Natural disasters; Ohio River; Works Progress Administration; Ohio Federal Writers' Project
Places: Ironton (Ohio); Lawrence County (Ohio)