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Friday, September 16, 2011

Million Dollar Dump: Flood of 1936

My octogenarian parents had to be evacuated in advance of the Susquehanna's rising floodwaters last week. Both are back @ home and doing well despite the interruption to their lives.

Over the years, my Dad often mentioned the "Million Dollar Dump", which is where a significant portion of the debris from the Flood of 1936 was hauled and ( I guess ) eventually buried. Today, it's the location of the Gateway Shopping Center in Edwardsville, PA.

A Google search of Susquehanna 1936 flood will bring up many images of the '36 and '72 floods, but here's one I didn't find after scanning several pages of photos. It's from a booklet that I found in the boxes of family memorabilia amassed by my Aunt ( Sarah Maude (Williams) Connelly ) Sandy.

It looks like the bear @ top left (below) is the smartest of the 3.

I hope the bears survived.

Anyway, I'm replacing my 1/2 hp sump pump today with an super-heavy-duty industrial strength model that will hopefully prevent our finished basement from ever flooding again. With the extremely shallow water table we have in our area, if my neighbors have any problems with their wells going dry should my sump pump perform as advertised, I'll deflect their criticism and blame it on the natural gas industry's insatiable need for water. 
Hey...two can play this game. Have a good day, folks.


  1. I have been looking high and low for photos of the Kirby Park Zoo….Who printed that booklet? If you ever decide that you no longer want it, please consider donating it to the Luzerne County Historical Society. I know that they don’t have much to go on in terms of images of the zoo, that’s where I’ve been looking for information…..You aunt didn’t happen to have any pictures of the zoo prior to the flood, did she? What is behind the bears in that photo? Is that Wilkes-Barre across the river or is that looking into Kirby Park? I’m trying to identify the remaining structures from the zoo area that are still standing in Kirby today---that is if they didn’t float away in the last flood!

  2. The editors & publishers of the booklet are listed as Edward J. Donohoe and Hugh J. Brislin. I'm not sure what's in the background, but it does not look like any part of the Wilkes-Barre skyline I recognize. If you'd like a copy of the booklet, let me know.

  3. Thank you so much for the offer but I was lucky enough to locate a copy. After comparing the image with some other photos taken prior to the flood at Kirby Park, it’s a good chance that the buildings in the background were once located near the Armory. Thanks again for your help and for posting the picture in the first place!