YESTERYEAR BY PAT SIDES: RIVERFRONT ICE GORGE OF 1936

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RIVERFRONT ICE GORGE OF 1936

Submitted by PAT SIDES

The Ohio River has overflowed its banks many times throughout Evansville’s history, with the worst episode occurring in early 1937.

Besides flooding, the river has also frozen on numerous occasions, disrupting steamboat traffic for weeks. This photo was taken at Evansville’s riverfront in February 1936, after prolonged sub-zero weather produced an ice gorge that extended from Uniontown, Kentucky, to Rockport, Indiana.

When it reached Evansville, people were able to walk across the river, and some boaters were marooned by floes and jams.

The wharf boat pictured here, which had been stationed at the riverfront for decades, was damaged beyond repair. After the ice gorge finally broke, the destruction continued when rising water forced some residents to evacuate their homes. 

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