Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Great 1937 Flood - Louisville, Kentucky - Why Nobody Cried

The Great Ohio River Flood 
Louisville, Kentucky 1937

In January of 1937, rains began to fall throughout the Ohio River Valley, eventually triggering what is known today as the "Great Flood of 1937". On January 27 the water level reached 57 feet in Louisville. 70 percent of the city was under water and 175,000 people were forced to leave their homes. The river in Louisville rose 6.3 feet between the 21st and 22nd. With the river reaching nearly 30 feet above flood stage, Louisville had the greatest height of the flood.

In my stash of memories given me by my husband's family I have two items reflecting the aftermath of this flood, one of death and one of strengthened spirit.

Rose Bodenbender Melvin, wife of Charles Walter "Uncle Bud" Melvin, besides being afflicted with an ectopic pregnancy, contracted pneumonia as a direct result of stress and living conditions during the flood and died on February 23rd. She hadn't quite reached her 33rd birthday.

And then I have this small clipping from the Louisville Courier Journal. I could have trimmed it up but I chose to scan it as I received it. This article was submitted to the Editor by Myrtle Maxine Melvin Robinson, "Myrt The Flirt" as her family fondly called her. Myrtle was my husband's maternal great aunt, sister of his grandmother Florence Polly, "Granny Hide". Bud Melvin mentioned above was their brother.  

Why Nobody Cried



  1. Myrt the Flirt should have hung around with my aunt known as Dirty Gertie. Lol.
    She is still alive and cracking people up.

  2. Dirty Gertie!! I love it! Myrtle was one of those outgoing, snazzy dressing, makeup wearing bawdy types from what I understand. I never knew her but I feel like I did!