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“Nice little museum”

Johnstown Flood Museum
Ranked #2 of 17 things to do in Johnstown
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
24 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Nice little museum”
Reviewed October 2, 2013

Nice displays in the museum and the film was very good. We took our trip on a Saturday and the part of town where the museum is was dead. We thought the museum was closed, but was full of life inside the building. Best place to park was right on the street.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank Wayne P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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222 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
398 reviews
167 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 402 helpful votes
“A little run down, but worth a visit.”
Reviewed September 28, 2013

If you're contemplating a visit to Johnstown to "do the flood," then I recommend you start up in South Fork at the Johnstown Flood National Memorial along US 219, THEN come down to this attraction. The museum has NO parking. However, we found a meter on a nearby street and fed it a bunch of quarters - so my recommendation is make sure you have some change.

There is a fee, and it covers additional sites in Johnstown which we did not visit. It was a little steep in my opinion, especially in light of the fact that the museum is not being kept up terribly well.

There are four things in my opinion worth seeing at this attraction.

The first is the Academy Award winning documentary. This film is much better than the scare film they show at the National Memorial. This film is factual, and tells the story of Johnstown before, during and after the flood. When the film ends, you walk through a corridor showing Johnstown today in photos and exhibits, and it was as moving as the film.

The second thing to see is the exhibits on the ground floor. I visited in the 1990's and back then I recall sparkling new exhibits with computer animation and excellent lighting. Many of the computer exhibits were broken during our visit, and many of the spot lights illuminating the wall of debris were burned out. I was disappointed that the museum has not kept up the exhibits. However, it's still worth seeing the artifacts from the flood and the stereo view photos.

The third thing to see is the third floor. They have different exhibits from time to time here and a few additional permanent ones. There was an especially interesting exhibit on the Hunting and Fishing club and how an amateur photographer took hundreds of photos so today we have a record of what they did.

The fourth thing to see is the building itself. This was built by Andrew Carnegie after the flood, to serve as a library for the people of Johnstown. He never talked about the flood, and probably felt little personal responsibility, but nonetheless he built this beautiful building for the city.

After you visit the museum, I recommend you go next to the Inclined Plane.

Visited August 2013
4 Thank copperdragon66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port St Lucie, FL
Level Contributor
239 reviews
213 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 145 helpful votes
“Don't miss this!”
Reviewed September 27, 2013

This museum tells the story of the 1889 Flood in great detail, including lots of personal testimonies, artifacts, photos, and a nice, clear analysis of why it happened in the first place. There's a good scale model on the first floor, and strolling docents can share stories. A surprising fact was the devastating fire that followed the flood, and the high number of casualties resulting from fire, as well as water. Adjoining the Museum (itself an old Carnegie Library) is a temporary shelter erected with the generosity of donors from Oklahoma.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank Quasimama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elburn, Illinois
Level Contributor
53 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Interesting history, but could have used more”
Reviewed September 16, 2013

I had read a book about the flood here in 1889 so wanted to see where it happened. The museum was hard to find as the sign on it was small and it was in a congested section of the old downtown. A sign for the parking lot pointed to the right, which we thought meant we were supposed to turn right there, so we ended up going over a bridge! The parking lot is actually in the right hand side of the lot for the Amtrak station. We went past the museum three times before we saw the sign on it! For couples about to get married this is a good test of how your marriage will survive when trying to find something! -- The museum had some interesting info plus a short movie on the flood. A man we met at the Flight 93 memorial lived in Johnstown all his life and told us there were plagues all over the town that showed where the floodwaters had reached. I wish they'd had a map of that at the museum. - There's also an area you can drive to where the dam broke, but we were tired and skipped that.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank Paula1946
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yorktown, VA
Level Contributor
384 reviews
114 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 148 helpful votes
“Fascinating slice of history”
Reviewed September 5, 2013

I learned so much from the exhibits and movie in this wonderful small museum. It was truly maddening to learn that the whole tragedy was caused by human neglect, not nature. Everything in here is worth carefully looking at; so interesting! The movie is top notch.
Parking is off site but an easy walk. Admission price is very fair.

Visited August 2013
3 Thank CBW47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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