Johnstown Flood Museum

Johnstown Flood Museum

The flood museum is a small museum that covers the flood, its source, and causes as well as the immediate aftermath of the flood and reconstruction.

Attraction Info:

Location: 304 Washington St, Johnstown, PA 15901

Parking: Park in the lot that is just over the Walnut Street Bridge.

Fees: $9.50 for adults, $7.50 for seniors, and $7.50 for children from 3-18 (children 2 and under are free)

Hours: Open seven days a week from 10:00 am-5:00 pm Monday-Saturday, and noon-5:00 pm on Sunday.

Directions on PCs: Locate the Google map below the search box on the right-hand side of this webpage. Click “Get Directions” on the map pin details.

Directions on Tablets and Mobile Phones: Locate the Google map near the bottom of this page, just below the search box. Click “Get Directions” on the map pin details.

Diorama depicting the Conemaugh River and the South Forks Dam

The flood museum is a small museum that covers the flood, its source, and causes as well as the immediate aftermath and reconstruction.

There are some interesting artifacts that bring the period to life, and a large diorama depicting the South Forks Dam, the Conemaugh River, and Johnstown.

In the back of the 1st story, there is a wall covered with simulated debris that brings home the sheer destruction left in the wake of the historic event. Pieces and parts of every imaginable source were painted white and attached to the wall, with some very life-like and alarming remains interspersed.

A wall of simulated debris gives a full-scale snapshot of the damage caused by the flood.
Information Panel with a large picture of the South Forks Dam

There are multiple panels with information related to the dam, its history, and even a timeline that I found surprising. I learned a thing or two about the weaknesses that were built into the dam over time, with multiple causes by various entities.

A South Forks Fishing and Hunting Club emblem.

I rather enjoyed the comical nature of the South Forks Fishing and Hunting Club emblem on display. It was way ahead of its time, and If I didn’t know any better, I would have assumed it came straight out of the 1960s or 1970s. I had a small chuckle then resumed seriousness as I moved on.

A museum leaflet from the area and time of the flood.

Another item caught my eye in a selection of historical items from the period. The pamphlet above entices readers to “Have your head examined!”. Sounds like a blast, where do I sign up?

The inside of the Oklahoma House.

In the back right corner of the 1st story, there is a doorway to the Oklahoma house. I won’t spoil the whole museum by describing its purpose, but you really should have a look.

Don’t forget to catch the video about the flood in the second-story theatre. It will give you a better sense of the timeline of events and how the citizens were affected by the flood. If you go to the Museum for no other purpose go to see the documentary.

Keep in mind it’s a small museum, but I do believe it was worth the trip.

Other Attractions in the Area:

  • Johnstown Flood National Memorial
  • Buttermilk Falls
  • Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville

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