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Johnstown Flood Museum
Ranked #2 of 17 things to do in Johnstown
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed November 13, 2011

The museum gives a very good explanation of the whole event. Great display.

Thank RCS55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"academy award"
in 12 reviews
"great flood"
in 11 reviews
"discovery center"
in 8 reviews
"flood museum"
in 24 reviews
"national memorial"
in 10 reviews
"actual artifacts"
in 5 reviews
"andrew carnegie"
in 7 reviews
"lots of pictures"
in 4 reviews
"tragic event"
in 6 reviews
"events leading up"
in 4 reviews
"carnegie library"
in 6 reviews
"great movie"
in 3 reviews
"short film"
in 5 reviews
"on display"
in 10 reviews
"flood plain"
in 4 reviews
"flood water"
in 5 reviews
"first hand"
in 3 reviews

236 - 240 of 247 reviews

Reviewed October 5, 2011

With family who live in Johnstown, I've visited this museum a number of times while growing up (and as an adult too!). As other's have stated, it is a smaller museum, but one which packs a punch. The main floor displays multitude artifacts from the flood. It also has a wonderful display outlining what happened on the fateful day and the path of the water. Upstairs houses some other items, but basically it's where the superb movie is shown.

Over the years, my family and I have debated which movie we enjoyed the most: The one at this museum or the one at the former dam site (national park). Both are terrific and should be seen, though the one at the national park is more graphic and a bit visually disturbing (certainly for younger kids). With that said, the award winning movie shown at this musuem downtown is our favorite. Like the one at the national park, it outlines what took place that day. What makes it different is that blame is placed very pointedly at people and not nature. It also shows how a city and its people made it through what was considered the worst natural disaster in American history at that time and managed to rebuild again.. and survive!

However, there is no doubt that to get a full picture of what took place that Memorial Day in 1889, you must also visit the dam site (national park). Make sure you get off the main road and drive by some of the cottages that are still standing (these cottages are larger than most regular homes). The folks who owned these "cottages" (ex: Mellons, Friths and Carnegie, etc) literally left everything behind as they fled from fear of prosecution the day after the flood.

Not to be missed (and included with your ticket price) is the Heritage Museum. Fantastic! It shows the history of the imigrants to this country (Johnstown) and how they helped build and shape our nation.

NOTE: I believe the Flood Museum is one of the few buildings that remained standing after the wave of water rushed through in 1889. Also, visit the cemetary on top of the mountain where you see the hundreds of unmarked gravestones from those who lost their lives and were never identified.

Thank GwenP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 18, 2011

The Johnstown Flood of 1889 was one of the worst "natural" disasters in US history with over 2,200 people killed in a few hours. A tsunami like wall of water came down the Conemaugh valley after the failure of the dam built at South Fork. The dam had been rebuilt by the wealthy of Pittsburgh to create a recreational lake for their families to escape the heat and pollution of Pittsburgh. It was not rebuilt with sufficient safeguards and its failure is more man made disaster than natural disaster. One should also go to the site of the old dam in South Fork to see how large the lake was prior to it gushing down to Johnstown.

Thank OrlandoDon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 30, 2010

Very moving and tragic! Take some time and browse through the exhibits.

Thank Boystowtraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 20, 2009

While the museum itself is small, its definitely worth your time. The museum guides are extremely knowledgeable and bring the events of the flood to life. Using an interactive map, the guide laid out the events that led up to the flood. Lots of photos and relics recovered from the flood are on display. There is also a short movie that is well done and worth watching. Especially good to visit here if you don't have time to get to the National Parks museum at the site of the former dam. Plus your admission ticket gets you into two other museums in Johnstown.

Thank htravels_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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