Johnstown Flood National Memorial, South Fork

#29 of 146 in Nature in Pennsylvania
National Park · Historic Site
Johnstown Flood National Memorial commemorates the more than 2,200 people who died and the thousands injured in the Johnstown Flood on May 31, 1889. The flood was caused by a break in the South Fork Dam, an earthen structure known to be structurally lacking. The memorial is located at 733 Lake Road near South Fork, Pennsylvania, about 10 miles (16 km) northeast of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The memorial preserves the remains of the dam and portions of the former Lake Conemaugh bed, along with the farm of Elias Unger and the clubhouse of the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club which owned the dam and reservoir. Hiking trails connect various parts of the memorial, and picnicking areas are present throughout. The United States Congress authorized the national memorial on August 31, 1964.
Visitors can tour the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Clubhouse and the Lake View Visitor Center. In 2006, the clubhouse was acquired by the National Park Service as part of the Johnstown Flood National Memorial. It can be toured by ranger interpretation or van guided. The visitor center includes the Unger House and the Springhouse. It has two floors of exhibits and the “Black Friday” film. Permanent exhibits consist of maps, views of the former dam, tactile displays, historic photographs of the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club, reproduction Morgue Book, oral history of flood survivor Victor Heiser.
To visit Johnstown Flood National Memorial on your trip to South Fork, use our South Fork vacation planning site.
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Johnstown Flood National Memorial reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
208 reviews
  • Well worth a visit here where the origin of this tragic event began. Begin by watching the 30 minute film then see the exhibits. Learned quite a bit about this disaster.  more »
  • the visitors center was full of interesting and useful information. the video was really good. the area was beautiful, and you could hike down to the damn site. I also loved seeing all the "cottages.....  more »
  • Awesome visitors center with very helpful and friendly staff. Got there just in time for film. Beautiful little theater. Greusom story of the tragedy. Easy to get to. Don't follow GPS or Google maps they take you screwy route, follow the park signs and you'll hey there easy.
  • The exhibits were well done but it is a relatively small building and much of the information is repeated in the Johnstown museum. Worth it for the good view of where the dam stood and the vanished lake area and the survivor accounts of the flood. The movie was extremely dark, scary and creepy - do not take young or impressionable children in to watch!

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