A Historic Flood

The Herkimer County Historical Society's new exhibit on the 1910 Herkimer Flood.

As you may have guessed by now, I have decided to take yet another week off from producing another episode of my web series this week because once again, I believe in quality and it’s like some advice I got from a recent YouTube video from AngryAussie: “If you don’t have anything to say or do when you are getting ready to do a video, don’t do the video.” It’s clearly good advice. Plus I have a set rule regarding the series that each video I do for the series has to be no less than five minutes long, but again since I am not a YouTube partner, it still can’t be over ten minutes. That’s a rule I still think YouTube should change since not everyone uploads copyrighted content.

So for this week, I am going to do a little blog that might end up being a little history lesson about the history of the village of Herkimer in light of the fact that this past Wednesday, the Historical Society unveiled their latest exhibit commemorating the 100th anniversary of the great Herkimer Flood of 1910 that left one person dead and about a million dollars (by 1910 figures) in property damage.

It all started February 28, 1910 after the area had a fairly decent winter and the weather had started to melt some of the ice and snow. That combined with a heavy rain caused ice to jam up the West Canada Creek, causing water from there to flood into a Hydraulic Canal that existed in Herkimer at that time and was the source of the town’s power. As a result, the water overflowed from the canal into the town.

Many of the streets as well as the railroad tracks were buried under two to three feet of water which made the streets impassable except by boat or canoe. Basements of houses were buried under 6 to 7 feet of water. Many homes were destroyed. Businesses were flooded and the local newspaper, the Herkimer Telegram was shut down. The electric trolleys were shut down and replaced with horses. And as I said before, only one person was killed after being hit by a flying piece of ice while railroad workers were trying to use dynamite to blow up a huge chunk of ice that was blocking the railroad tracks.

A 1910 photo of a horse-drawn trolley that operated during the Herkimer flood.

The flood also attracted curious people from all around, even though the crowds that came for the flood were not as big as the crowds that came to Herkimer for Chester Gillette’s murder trial four years earlier in which the crowds contained people from as far as New York City. One man even made money by conducting tours of a house that was tipped on its side by the flood.

All in all, this is one of the big examples of how a community came together and overcame a natural disaster which is to date, the worst natural disaster ever to affect the village of Herkimer. The flood only lasted for five days and by March 5, the flood waters started to recede. Only 200 houses survived the flood and many of those houses are still here to this day. Of course Herkimer and its surrounding areas would go on to have many more floods, the most recent one being in Dolgeville four years ago. However none of them were as bad as the one in 1910.

And this centennial commemoration could not have come at a better time especially when another major disaster is affecting the country and of course I am talking about the BP oil spill in the Gulf.

Ironically, when I was going to a presentation on this at the Historical Society Wednesday night, it was starting to pour outside and I was caught in it. However, luckily I was right at the Historical Society when the rain really started coming down. Thankfully, there was no flooding.

So there you go. Another historic event that happened in Herkimer brought to you courtesy of your friendly neighborhood Blackcatloner.

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July

Blackcatloner goes Warhol, courtesy of Photobucket.

Wow. Where did the summer go? I pretty much missed the entire month of July as far as blogging goes. I’ve been really busy with quite a few things, such as my work on my book. I have been working on that at the Historical Society mainly on Saturdays since they are open on Saturdays during the summer. I have also been working on some ideas for YouTube videos because I haven’t posted any new videos on there in a little over a month. Don’t forget I am still new to the world of Internet video making, but I am starting to find my footing.

Of course, it’s not like I have been idle these last few weeks. For one thing, I finally tried my hand at BlogTV and it was almost a near disaster. Thankfully, towards the end I started to get the hang of it and I did end up with at least one new subscriber for my YouTube channel. I haven’t really been able to do another show, partly due to technical difficulties and the fact that both timing and the weather have not been on my side. That and the fact that I had to go out and buy another tripod. So hopefully, soon, I will be able to go back and do another show, probably in the next week or two.

On the first week that I was at the Historical Society during their summer hours, I decided to bring my camcorder along because I had to film a lecture that I was planning to put on my Chester and Grace site, but once I got it home and uploaded it to the computer, it didn’t come out. An hour of footage and all I got was a white screen. I tried to break it down with the Movie Maker but it was no good. In the end, I had to get rid of the whole thing.

Also in July on opening night as a matter of fact, I went to see “The Dark Knight” in Little Falls. It was really awesome and lived up to the hype as being the biggest film of the summer mainly because of Heath Ledger as the Joker. It has also done excellent box office. It broke the record set by “Spider-Man 3” the year before and now people are saying that it has a shot at dethroning “Titanic” as the biggest film of all time. That is quite an accomplishment for a “Batman” movie.

I got an extra day off from work last night. I had arranged to take a personal day off from work so I could go and see a play. However, I ended up not going because of the fact that the play I wanted to go see was actually in Utica. So I just took advantage of the day off, even though I have to go back tonight, and you know how I feel about.

So, that is pretty much it from my end. I know I have been away for a while, but I hope to have some more things up soon.

Last Night Indy Saved My Life

He's back, everyone!

He’s back, everyone!

Hey, everyone. I just wanted to stop in really quick to post my latest entry. Nothing really went on during the week aside from the fact that I went to see the new “Indiana Jones” movie and that was the major highlight of this past week.

I arrived at the theater in Little Falls at 6:15 that night for the 7:00 showing and as it was with “Transformers”, I was able to get there ahead of the crowd. However, unlike “Transformers,” this was the second night that the movie was in theaters so I wasn’t the first one to plunk down money to see it. It did draw a huge crowd, most notably nostalgia-seekers who grew up on the original three movies like I did.

And my verdict on the latest movie, which is set in the 50’s, is that the movie was excellent. It definitely lives up to the hype that it is one of the summer’s biggest movies and it definitely is a worthy addition to the whole saga, especially for the die-hard fans who grew up on Indy such as myself. I am sort of bummed that it is getting some bad reviews especially when it debuted at Cannes last week. I thought that while it wasn’t as good as “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” it was definitely on par with “Last Crusade” and worlds better than “Temple of Doom.”

Today, I got to go to some more yard sales and I got some more clothes. There wasn’t really too much selection. I went to one in Herkimer, two in Mohawk, and one in Ilion. Actually, Herkimer is going to be having a village-wide yard sale in June. I also tried to put in for vacation time from work for the third week in June. I hope that I put the request in before they made the schedule up. And I do believe they approved my request for a personal day on August 4 so I can go see that play in Ilion that day.

This week on my to-do list includes deciding to put up a live video either today or tomorrow. I think I’ll do a movie review.

Oh, yeah, by the way. Indy didn’t literally save my life. I just decided to put that as an interesting title.

Making Ends Meet

Well, another weekend off from work is almost over. It was like this weekend went by really fast. As I write this, it is about an hour and a half away from Sunday morning and I have been online pretty much all day.

As of Friday, Blackcatloner has officially added yet another job to his resume in addition to Wally World associate, Internet blogger, and YouTube moviemaker: I am also a lawn mower person. That afternoon, I mowed the lawn for the Historical Society and made some extra bucks. Shortly after that, I went to Wally World and got two “Indiana Jones” movies. The other day, the first three movies came out individually on DVD and that was something I was waiting for. I got “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.” Next Friday, I’m planning to go see the new movie because it comes out next weekend.

I found out that I can take a personal day on any day before inventory but not vacation time. I put in for the first Monday in August so I can go see another play at Ilion Little Theater. It’s not part of their regular program season, but it’s part of their After Dark Productions. I can also take vacation time during the second and third weeks in July, but it doesn’t seem likely that I’ll get it. I’ll have to wait until either late August or September to take it.

The Big 3-0

Well, last Tuesday was a big milestone for me. As of that Tuesday (February 12), I am now officially the big 3-0. That’s right, I am now 30 years old. It pretty much means a lot of things, but the biggest meaning of all is that the best years of my life are now behind me, or they could be just beginning. It all depends on your point of view.

The night before my birthday, I was able to take a personal day off from work. It was pretty much a good thing I did too. The weather that day was not very good and it was very cold that day, not to mention the fact that if I had gone to work that night and my co-workers had found out about my birthday, they probably would have announced it over the PA and you know how that can be. So in other words, I was pretty smart to take a personal day.

Prior to my birthday, I had been spending some time at the other library because of the weather and other things. I also have taken a “side job” of sorts by shoveling snow for the Historical Society on days when it snows, so that gives me a little extra money a week. I also used the personal day to get some more work done on my book because I really need to get that done and that pretty much ties in with the fact that I have in fact gotten older. I just don’t want to look back on my life and regret not having been able to do things I wanted to do, and there are other things besides write my book that I haven’t done yet but want to do.