This past week at the Luzerne County Historical Society I continued working on the inventory of the Welles collection donation. Through one of the boxes I came across this week, I found some interesting material related to a flood along the Susquehanna River. The flood occurred in May of 1909 where many locations along the river, including Wilkes-Barre, were flooded. The flood was recorded as minor, but there was a significant amount of damage in the city. Additionally, the death toll of this flood was 11. The Welles Collection held one newspaper article and two small books on the topic, as well as a record of Virginia A. Welles’ experience of the event. It was difficult to uncover her experiences of the event, however, because of the evanescent ink. The two small books pertaining to the event held many photographs of definitive locations in Wilkes-Barre that were flooded and showcased many damaged objects. Additionally, the photographs show the individuals who were helping rescue others. Finding these objects in the Welles collection reminds me of the Hurricanes that have recently hit the Caribbean Islands, Hurricane Harvey striking Texas and Oklahoma, and Hurricane Irma’s wrath on Florida. My heart goes out to every one affected by the storms who have lost personal belongs, their homes, and or loved ones. I wish the best for them moving forwards having to start at scratch and or any other personal matter.
During my time inventorying the Welles Collection, I came across some objects pertaining to the Battle of Wyoming, also known as the Wyoming Massacre. In the collection, there is a small pamphlet announcing the first commemoration of the Wyoming Massacre. The commemoration of the horrible event in Pennsylvania’s history was through a reenactment of the third day of July, 1778. On that fateful day, approximately 360 people, consisting of men, women, and children, lost their lives. Others that escaped the attack eluded it only to die later on, either from starvation, wounds, or exposure to the environment. Likewise, I came across a book about the event as well. In the book, there is a plethora of interesting information pertaining to the event and a map of the areas American settlers stayed at in present day Wilkes-Barre, Forty Fort, etc.
I am looking forward to continue working on the inventory of the Welles Collection because I’ve found several objects that hold interesting information about Pennsylvania’s history. Not only am I interested in learning more about Pennsylvania’s history through this project, I am excited to find out any information pertaining to the Welles family. At this time, I have not come across anything that has caught my eye, but I hope something will next week.