Expansion Continued

Despite the severity of the 1889 Flood, Johnstown's progress was delayed only temporarily. Within a few years it had regained the population it lost by death, and most of its business houses and manufacturing centers were back in operation. At the time of the flood there were 10,000 people in Johnstown Borough and 20,000 in the adjacent communities. In 1891--two years after consolidation--the City of Johnstown had 25,000 inhabitants and there were an additional 10,000 people living outside the city proper.

The rapid population increase within the city limits continued for the next three decades. Johnstown had 37,500 people in 1901; by 1910 the figure hit 55,000; by 1920 it climbed to 67,327 and Johnstown was the ninth-ranking city in Pennsylvania.

Between 1920 and 1940 the city population held fairly steady at between 66,006 and 67,000. Since then it has dropped slightly, particularly during the late 1940s and early 1950s when the trend to the suburbs was in full stride. The 1950 census placed Johnstown's population at 63,232.

In the past half century, the one incident which perhaps had a great effect on Johnstown's future, was the St. Patrick's Day Flood in March of 1936. This flood took several lives and caused damage estimated at $41 million.

However, it was the disaster that prompted the flood-control program by which Johnstown has acquired flood-free status. Over $8 million was spent in the five-year project to protect the city from recurrence of the floods which had plagued the city almost from the date of its founding. The work of widening and deepening river channels and building river walls was completed on November 27, 1943.

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