2011-08-20 / Front Page

PROGRESSING

More events, activities added to Austin’s centennial flood observance


These are the designs that are being considered for T-shirts that will be made to commemorate the 100- year anniversary of the Austin flood. People can vote for their favorite design at www.austin2011.com. These are the designs that are being considered for T-shirts that will be made to commemorate the 100- year anniversary of the Austin flood. People can vote for their favorite design at www.austin2011.com. Countdown continues toward one of the biggest events in Austin history – an observance from Sept. 30 through Oct. 2 – to mark the 100th anniversary of the tragic flood that nearly destroyed the town.

A program that is rich in history and filled with fun has been assembled by the Austin Flood Centennial Committee.

Organizers are seeking to connect with descendants and relatives of victims, survivors and those who aided in the recovery effort of the Sept. 30, 1911 flood that took at least 78 lives. They’re invited to a commemorative ceremony, scheduled to kick off the weekend on Friday, Sept. 30, at 1 pm on Main Street in Austin. Family members wishing to participate should send an email to austinpa2011@gmail.com or call 814-274-3365.

Following the ceremony, Austin will turn back the clock to 1911 with living history actors, vintage baseball, demonstrations of 1911 crafts and trades, and music and cuisine reflective of life in 1911.

Also to prepare for the centennial observance, citizens are encouraged to vote for the design they would like to see featured on the event’s keepsake T-shirts. The six nominees were created by students at Austin Area School.

Voting is open until Sept. 3. More information on the design contest and events planned for the Austin Flood Centennial can be found on the website, austin2011.com.

The recent addition of a “vintage baseball game,” played under the rules of the late 1800s and early 1900s, has organizers excited. For information on playing in the game, contact Randylamb_ 1999@yahoo.com.

Friday’s highlight events includea3pmdramatic presentation reliving the flood by Paul Heimel, author of the new book, “1911: The Austin Flood.”

At 4 pm, local historical researcher, Margaret Crosby, will share the life story of Cora Brooks, the madam who ran a “house of ill repute” on the hill overlooking the dam.

At 5 pm, Rich Pawling’s “History Alive!” will demonstrate the culture of woodhicks in the heyday of the lumber industry.

At 7:30 pm, Dr. Gale Largey will provide live commentary during a screening of his documentary, “The Austin Disaster, 1911 – A Chronicle of Human Character.”

From 7-9 pm, local musicians Jakob’s Hollow will perform their flood-inspired songs and other selections, and storyteller Bonnie Kyofski will share local lore and legend around a bonfire at the dam.

Saturday brings a second chance to see many of Friday’s programs, including Paul Heimel at 11 am, Gale Largey’s documentary at noon, and Margaret Crosby at 1.

A 5K Walk/Run will be held at 10, before vintage baseball kicks off at 1, using late-1800s baseball rules.

From 2-6 pm, musical performances will reflect the ethnic groups that inhabited Austin in 1911. Rich Pawling will entertain at 5 pm, followed by tethered hot air balloon rides at the dam at 5:30, where visitors can get a view of the path of the flood from 200 feet in the air .

The weekend winds down Sunday with hayrides, a pet parade at 11 am, bed races at noon, a 2pm. parade and additional performances.

Watch for more information on these and other events being considered, including tours of the E.O. Austin Museum, geocaching, guided historical tours of town, woodhick games and more. Visit austin2011.com for schedule updates.

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