Union City history and the Flood of 1908

Union City Flood, 1908

Union City 1908 Flood, photo from UC1960

This photo is one of hundreds of historical postcards from Union City, Michigan posted to a site called Footnote to which I was recently referred. The site has an interesting interface and is one of a growing number of sites that try to leverage the power of social networks (and of course clicky-draggy stuff) to provide a richer experience. In Footnote’s case, they’re focusing on history and the result is pretty cool.

Union City is located south of Battle Creek, where the Coldwater River joins the St. Joseph River (I swear I didn’t plan that tie-in!). In an effort to prove that they have everything about everything, Wikipedia has an entry titled Floods in the United States: 1901-2000 which has this to say about the Michigan Flood of March 1908:

In February, snowstorms had deposited a significant snowpack across the region. Then, in early March, heavy rains and warmer conditions set in, setting the stage for a flood. The Kalamazoo River flooded Albion when the Homer Dam broke around 3 p.m. on March 7. By midnight, the bridges surrounding town were underwater. Six buildings in Albion collapsed, which caused over US$125,000 in damage (1908 dollars).

Union City lost its bridge in the flooding – here’s a photo. You have to see this great photo from the same flood in Battle Creek.

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