Last night was the public debut of our new traveling exhibit about the 1913 Dayton Flood. The exhibit opening was held in conjunction with the opening night of WSU Theatre’s performance 1913: The Great Dayton Flood.
In addition to the three exhibit panels, we also displayed several original archival materials from various collections in the Archives, including several postcards, photographs, a map, and manuscripts.
The opening was held in the lobby of the Creative Arts Center and began at 6:00, approximately 1 hour prior to the start of the play. Many of the play attendees took a few minutes (or more than a few!) to stop by and check out the exhibit. Not only did we receive lots of positive feedback about the exhibit, but these crowds speak for themselves!
In addition to crowds of viewers and positive comments, the exhibit also generated the sharing of stories.
One couple told us they live in a house in Fairborn that was one of those moved from old Osborn when the Huffman Dam was being built. Another couple said that before they bought their home in East Dayton, they checked the historical records to find out whether it had been flooded in 1913 (it wasn’t!).
One visitor told us that her grandmother’s family, who lived in a rural area of Madison Township during the 1913 flood, had gone out to their farm fields after the water receded, gathered up all the still-wriggling fish, salted them, and feasted on fish for quite some time afterwards!
We are so pleased with the response we received at last night’s exhibit opening! And now that the exhibit is “open,” it will be traveling to many other sites around the Miami Valley, where we hope it will meet with the same enthusiasm and reach many more people.
Whenever the exhibit is not out on loan, you can check it out in the reading room of the Wright State University Special Collections & Archives (Dunbar Library, fourth floor):