Elliot Keeler, a resident of Fremont, wrote about the 1883 flood:
"Before dawn on the Sunday morning of February 4, 1883, the Fremont
fire bell aroused the citizens who found hundreds of their dwellings
surrounded or already inundated by water. Heavy rains of two days, falling
upon a frozen ground, with ice gorges formed below town, had caused
a sudden rise of water in the river four or five feet above any previous
high water mark. The water flowed through Front street, the principal
business street of the city, with a mighty current which no boats could
stem. The whole third ward between the river banks and the foot of the
hills was several feet under water; huge ice blocks floated in, packed
and froze solid. Two thousand persons were driven from their homes.
There were many narrow escapes and several deaths from drowning and
exposure. Several bridges along the river were carried away, and that
of the L. S. & M. S. Railway collapsed under a freight train, thirty-seven
cars being precipitated into the river. The damage to property in Fremont
alone amounted to about $100,000. Loss in the upper towns of Tiffin,
Bucyrus and Upper Sandusky was also large."
Keeler, Lucy. "The Sandusky River: Its Geography, History, and
Tradition." Columbus, Ohio, 1904.
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