The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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The Johnstown Flood 125th

May 25, 2014

CONTEST | Virtual flood tour will be a trip for prize winner

JOHNSTOWN — Greater Johnstowners have, for generations, grown up with stories of floodwaters tearing through the city - many lived through the most recent disasters. Valley dwellers are literally surrounded on all sides by living history.

What if taking a leisurely springtime stroll through the scenic backdrop of the Great Johnstown Flood of 1889 could land you a fantastic prize? The Tribune-Democrat is giving away a 3-day, 2-night hotel stay for one lucky hiker who treks through the historic Path of the Flood Trail.

All you’ve got to do is walk.

HOW DO I WIN?

You’ll need a smartphone or tablet with a camera and data plan, a Foursquare.com account, the Foursquare app, an app that allows your device to scan QR codes (there are many free options on the Apple App Store and Google Play store) and a pair of comfortable walking shoes.

Hikers will find several informational kiosks along the Path of the Flood Trail, which detail the historical and cultural significance of trail sites and recant colorful accounts of the flood. Near these wayside signs, contest participants can find Tribune-Democrat 125th Flood Anniversary placards. Each placard has QR codes that participants will scan via their smartdevices.

Simply download, install and open the scanner app, then point your device’s camera at the square-shaped code.

One of the QR codes, when scanned, will send participants to a Foursquare location page.

Participants must leave a “tip” at the location when checking in, so we know who’s been to each location and so we can determine how many entries participants will receive when we draw the winner. Each tip counts as an entry for the giveaway. Tips on Foursquare.com are general comments about the location. Tell us how you’re enjoying the trail, tell us about interesting flood facts you’ve learned or just say “Hi!”

The more Foursquare tips you post along the flood trail, the better your chances of winning. Print readers can get a freebie entry by scanning the “South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club” QR code near this article. There are eight location check-ins along the flood trail and two in downtown Johnstown, making 11 possible contest entries.

After the QR code is scanned, the Foursquare location page will appear in the browser. The option to check-in to the location via the Foursquare app should also be displayed. Open the location page in the Foursquare app to leave a tip.

Separate QR codes on the signs will direct participants to articles, photo galleries and video produced by The Tribune-Democrat for the 125th flood anniversary edition. Hikers can get a firsthand look at local history while reading stories that make Flood City culture come to life.

The contest will begin on Wednesday, May 28 and will continue for a week. The final day to accrue contest entries is Tuesday, June 3.

All participants must register by sending an email with their name, Foursquare user ID (if users haven't created their own Foursquare ID, it appears as a string of numbers at the end of the Foursquare profile URL), phone number and address to jdennis@tribdem.com. Use the subject heading “Path of the Flood Trail contest.” Don’t worry, personal information will only be used to contact the winner and award the grand prize. Participants can register before or after hitting the flood trail and scanning the signs, but the email must be received by the contest deadline.

Multiple tips and check-ins at the same location from a single user will count as one contest entry. The Foursquare contest locations are private and unsearchable, so the only way to participate is to scan the codes at each location along the trail. The winner will be drawn at random after the contest deadline.

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The Johnstown Flood 125th
  • Johnstown 1881.tif 'How ill to e'er forget': City forever marked by tragic waters of South Fork Dam

    Frightened and resilient, a group of Johnstown citizens gathered inside the Fourth Ward schoolhouse the day after a horrific flood destroyed much of their city.
    Their task was almost incomprehensible. More than 2,000 individuals had died when a wave of water, unleashed by the collapse of the South Fork Dam, slammed into the town on Friday, May 31, 1889. A smoldering debris pile clogged the confluence where the Little Conemaugh River and Stonycreek River come together to form the Conemaugh River. The groans of the dying could still be heard. Homes, businesses, possessions ... all gone.
    Confusion, terror, uncertainty.

    May 25, 2014 5 Photos

  • Woodvale.TIF A deadly, destructive path: Powerful water wall flattened anything in its way

    Those living in Johnstown and other Conemaugh Valley communities in 1889 were well aware of the threat represented by the huge impoundment of water behind the South Fork Dam.
    A wet spring, leading up to a record-setting overnight storm May 30 had rivers out over their banks in many areas, including downtown Johnstown.

    May 25, 2014 5 Photos

  • House w dam in background.JPG 'It's still controversial': Debate rages over culpability of wealthy club members

    One hundred twenty-five years have passed since the industrial leaders of the day – with names like Carnegie, Mellon and Frick – last relaxed and recreated on the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club’s Lake Conemaugh shores.

    And it’s been nearly as long since engineers of the day publicly – and controversially – exonerated their club from liability of the 1889 Johnstown Flood – an ever-debated, and still evolving, story that continues to fascinate today, Johnstown Area Heritage Association President Richard Burkert notes.

    May 25, 2014 5 Photos

  • flood_trail_map.jpg CONTEST | Virtual flood tour will be a trip for prize winner

    Greater Johnstowners have, for generations, grown up with stories of floodwaters tearing through the city - many lived through the most recent disasters. Valley dwellers are literally surrounded on all sides by living history.
    What if taking a leisurely springtime stroll through the scenic backdrop of the Great Johnstown Flood of 1889 could land you a fantastic prize? The Tribune-Democrat is giving away a 3-day, 2-night hotel stay for one lucky hiker who treks through the historic Path of the Flood Trail.
    All you’ve got to do is walk.

    May 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Minor flood Main St.JPG Floods plagued city for decades

    The 1889 flood was by far the worst, but certainly not the first flood for the citizens of Johnstown.

    May 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Lake map.JPG New answers to old questions: UPJ researchers use high-tech tools to dig into mysteries of flood

    Shoddy work and compromises during the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club’s reconstruction and maintenance of the former state-owned dam have long been recognized as the primary cause of the South Fork dam’s failure and the devastating flood of 1889.

    May 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dam empty.JPG Perfect storm of events led to massive tragedy

    Using picks and shovels, a dozen or so Italian laborers desperately attempted to save the earthen South Fork Dam on the morning and afternoon of May 31, 1889.
    They tried to open a spillway on the west side and raise the center of the breast with dirt and rocks.
    It was a vain endeavor.

    May 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Stone Bridge partly cleared.jpg Bridge a site of death, destruction, fascination: Span still standing, drawing visitors

    For Ken Smith, the Stone Bridge spanning the Conemaugh River just outside Johnstown’s business district is inspiring, an example of the power and stability of a structure built with integrity and intelligence.

    Smith is a civil engineer who lives more than 400 miles west of Johnstown, but thinks everyone in his business needs to make what he termed a “pilgrimage” to the seven-arch stone structure that played a major role in the devastating 1889 Johnstown Flood.

    May 25, 2014 3 Photos

  • St Johns Convent.tif Heaven-sent: Churches were city's saving grace

    All of Johnstown’s churches were either destroyed or damaged by the 1889 Johnstown Flood, but that did not stop the congregations from continuing to minister to the community while rebuilding the churches.

    May 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Grandview Unknown Plot.tif Terrible toll visible at hillside cemetery: 1,222 victims of flood buried there

    Grandview Cemetery serves as the final resting place for former war heroes, a drugstore chain founder and a list of once-powerful politicians.
    But its perhaps best known for a plot honoring hundreds of nameless men and women – a 777- headstone memorial to the unidentified victims of Johnstown’s 1889 flood.

    May 25, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

Do you think pet obituaries should be included with death notices?

Yes, my pet is considered a member of the family.
No, pet obituaries are inappropriate.
Pet obituaries should be placed on a different page in the newspaper.
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