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a. “That dam will stand when you all are dead.”
b. “If that dam should break, you would hardly get your feet wet on Main Street.”
c. “Great God, that dam is going out. We must drive back to Austin and warn the people.”
d. “If that concrete was set good and hard, it could not possibility break no matter how much pressure was behind it.”
e. All of the above theories were probably voiced about the concrete dam after it’s completion.
a. A cheap saloon where liquor was sold, and gambling and other illicit activities were main attractions.
b. A pastry fancied by the wood hicks made of pie crust cut into circles and filled fruit or cheese.
c. Cured dog treats made of pork trimmings sold at the butcher shops.
d. A tin horn listening device used by the wood hicks to hear sounds at a distance.
e. None of these terms really applied to Austin at the time.
a. It was on September 30, 1911 in the afternoon.
b. It was the Election Primary, also called Polling Day, in both Austin and Costello.
c. It was a warm sunny day, that had been preceded by a month of unusually wet and rainy weather.
d. Telephone workmen were repairing lines that morning which caused false fire whistle alarms to blow.
e. All of the above items describe that fateful day.
a. The partial failure in January 1910 had weaken the structure. The dam had been hurriedly built, some during freezing weather, and was completed just six weeks before the maximum water pressure came upon it. The concrete had not set hard enough to attain its ultimate strength at that time.
b. During its construction, the papermill owner instructed the workers to raise the crest of the dam to increase the storage capacity, without the dam designer’s knowledge.
c. In order to reduce costs, a minimal amount of iron rods were used to secure the dam to the foundation rock and the outlet pipe was not fitted with an outflow valve or gate.
d. In September 1911 heavy rains filled reservoir behind the dam and the papermill superintendent refused to open the outlet device to lower the reservoir level so as to optimize the mill’s productivity.
e. All of the above contributed to the dam breaking. But in the end, the Austin Dam failed because water was able to get under the dam.
a. Cora Brooks, who owned and operated an illicit boarding house on the hillside close to the Dam.
b. An unidentified telephone workman who was repairing lines across from the Bayless Paper Mill.
c. F. N. Hamlin, the Superintendent of Bayless Paper Mill, who was on the highway directly below the dam driving to Coudersport.
d. Mr. and Mrs. Adam Broadt, a retired couple from thier residence in the valley below the Dam.
e. Harry Davis, a former Railroad Engineer, who was living at the home of Cora Brook.
a. The telephone workmen who were busy repairing lines across from the Bayless Paper Mill.
b. Willian Nelson, the town’s grocer who was on Turner Street trying to reach his residence after he heard that the dam had broken.
c. F. N. Hamlin, the Superintendent of Bayless Paper Mill, and a friend, Joseph McKinney who were on the highway directly below the dam driving back to Austin to warn the people.
d. Mr. and Mrs. Adam Broadt, a retired couple who were sitting on thier front porch that faced down the valley below the dam.
e. Grace Baldwin Collins, who lived on upper Turner Street and was helping her elderly parents to the nearest hillside after she heard that the dam had broken.
a. A fine black funeral suit and high silk hat.
b. A blue cape coat and Army clothing donated by the National Guard.
c. An torn sweater, unwashed trousers, rubber boots and derby hat two-sizes too big.
d. Gum sole shoes, gloves, and winter clothing donated by the Red Cross Relief Association.
e. There was no funeral service. Senator Baldwin’s father’s body was never found.
Please, stay off the Austin Dam ruins. This is a historical landmark. You are visiting a historic landmark, a place where a great tragedy occurred a century ago. This is a place of historical significance, and we expect that you will respect it as such. Stay away from the Bayless Pulp and Papermill ruins and view only from a safe distance.
© 2021 Austin Dam Memorial Association, Inc.