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Slide 27 of 48


On May 31, 1889, Central Park was under 18 feet of water and tons of debris. Within a few days, however, the park was cleared off and transformed into a tent city for some of the 6,000 laborers and 580 members of the 14th Pennsylvania Regiment who came to help clean up and rebuild. Most of the workers were sent by the Booth and Flinn Company of Pittsburgh to help remove acres of debris, recover dead bodies, dispose of animal corpses, tear down dangerous structures, and clear the riverbeds. The State Militia, directed by Adjutant General Daniel Hastings, maintained order and coordinated the distribution of supplies to the various relief agencies in the Valley. Temporary shops eventually replaced the tent camps in the park, but throughout the month of June, "Johnstown was a cross between a mining town and a military camp." The park reopened in 1892.