Thursday, May 21, 2009

1938 Hurricane Aerial Photos

The Connecticut River in Hartford is a subject in many of our posts, and we spend a lot of time down along the banks of the silty, sandy Connecticut.

Brendan is hosting a 'cross race down at Riverside Park in October, 2009. Last fall, he hosted The Eel down along the river, and this spring, he hosted The Eel 2. Ken frequently takes quick rides late at night to "kiss the river". Last year, we hit as many bridges as possible on one ride. El Presidente de China has praised the railroad bridge north of the Bulkeley Bridge. I frequently use the push-up spot between the Bulkeley and Founder's Bridges, on the East Hartford side of the river. I went swimming on the East Hartford side on a ride that was documented last year. We also occasionally met up below the Founder's Bridge before critical mass rides last year. Also, I distinctly remember Vasudeva the ferryman from Siddhartha, but that was in India.

Many of these events and experiences have happened between the dikes. At one point the dikes didn't exist. Would we have the same bicycling and bridge resources we do now if the dikes hadn't been built?

The Connecticut State Library has 132 aerial photos taken shortly after the Hurricane of 1938 had passed. These photos are incredible. I suggest you go look at them and see how different the city looked up to its neck in water and without dikes.


Brendan said...

Those are really scary pictures.

scrice said...

Joel- Thanks for the cudos. I helped put these photos online. We are very glad you like them. Here's a true story: I had a reference call one day from a man looking for 1930's photographs and I pointed him to the 1938 Hurricane photos. He said, "Do you have any from the town of Sprague?" I said there were three. He said, "Do you have one with a bridge over a river and a Catholic church nearby?" Skeptically, I looked and indeed there was one. He said, "Is there house in front of the church near the river bank?" I said, "Yes, and there are two people standing outside looking at the flooding river." He said, "That's my aunt and uncle!"

Joel said...

That's a great story. I came across these photos through my day job. Check out CT Coastal Hazards Portal and Visualization Tool. Assuming you are a librarian or similar, maybe you have ideas for other resources that could be included on the website.

scrice said...
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