| September/October 1977

  • Sam Osbourne braves the flood waters
    Several people watch as Sam Osbourne braves the flood waters to return to his home and blacksmith shop on Swift Run. This is the same view as on page 3 of July-August 1977 I.M.A. about a year after the ford was replaced with a concrete culvert.
  • Engines covered with water
    Engines normally parked high and dry are partly covered with water as Swift Run overflows its banks at Sam Osbourne's, near New Oxford, Pennsylvania in the fall of 1976. Fortunately, damage was slight. The water rose about 6 inches higher than shown in th

  • Sam Osbourne braves the flood waters
  • Engines covered with water

311 Westuiew Avenue, Bristol, Pa. 19007

I thought I would send this little story in as a sequel to the story 'Steam Doings on Swift Run,' which was published in the July-August issue of Iron Men Album for 1977. Shortly after those photos were taken the ford which led across Swift Run was replaced by a 'highway improvement' consisting of a large concrete culvert, which changed the formerly peaceful scene. As a result, in September 1976, following a heavy rain which began on a Friday night and continued through the night, Swift Run decided to become deep run. I arrived at Sam Osbourne's Friday night and spent the night, and by daylight Saturday morning it was apparent that a flood was imminent. Mr. Osbourne left about 8:00 A.M., and about 8:30 I decided to go to New Oxford, about two miles away, to buy some camera film and get some pictures.

By the time I returned it was becoming dangerous to cross the culvert due to water over the road and floating debris. However, I made it back into his place, but I was the last one to do so, as the road was soon closed by high water, both in front of and behind me, by 9:00. The water continued to rise rapidly until about 10:00, then began to fall. By the time Mr. Osbourne returned about 11:30, the water had gone down enough that I risked the road and made it to the far side, thus being the last one in and the first one out.

He and I and some neighbors waited a few minutes on the far side, and then he carefully made his way back to his house. Of course, his house was untouched as it is located on high ground, but some slight damage was done by floating logs, barrels, and other debris to a couple engines parked along the creek. However, his well-equipped old time blacksmith shop was another story. With about 3-4 feet of water inside, many tools, much of his equipment and many relics were a mess. Luckily, thanks to some fast cleaning, the loss was small, and soon the peaceful area was peaceful again.


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