Odd Columbus Events #2

Date: July 9, 1913
Event Type: Weather

A severe hailstorm hit parts of the South Side on that Wednesday afternoon. In an issue of The Democratic Banner out of Mt. Vernon, the headline on July 11th read Streets Covered with Ice Boulders: Destruction Wrought by Hail Storm at Columbus.”

The article went on:
This city was visited by probably the most disastrous hailstorm in its history. The damage to crops and buildings in this immediate vicinity is estimated conservatively at $125,000. (About $3.1 million today).
South Side florists alone report losses of approximately $50,000. In hundreds of houses practically every window was broken. The ground on the South Side was covered by a thick layer of “ice boulders” for an hour or two afterwards. As a midsummer phenomenon it probably was without a parallel in this state.

Accompanied by 45 mph winds, the hail that fell was reported to be about 3″ in diameter. The hail was large enough to hit and fracture the wrist of J.W. Sprouse, a teamster, and shattered glass from a greenhouse was driven through the arm of William Bernard, a florist.

Columbus in Video History

March 1913 Flood
This video is mostly photos, but still quite interesting.

A video about Columbus being a test market (something that is still true somewhat today) and the impact of Reader’s Digest on Columbus businesses.

Images from OSU Campus, Downtown and more.

Check out this relocation video from when AEP moved its headquarters to Columbus from New York. Total cheese fest. The focus on suburban malls is interesting considering their decline today.

OSU Campus to Downtown near and along High Street.

Ameriflora 1992
Who could forget this event? It was supposed to be a defining event for the city, but ended up very overhyped and not nearly the success that was promised.

May 11, 1995
A Channel 4 news report on gas prices. Ironic that the report is that prices are too high, but I bet everyone would love to see these prices again.

Before and After: March 2013 Edition


Photo taken looking north along South Central Avenue in Franklinton during the flood of January 21-24, 1959.


Present day South Central Avenue in Franklinton.

The 1959 flood was the 2nd worst in the history of Franklinton, after the 1913 disaster. The Frank Road crest on the Scioto River came on January 22, 1959 and was 27.22 ft, 3.22 ft above flood stage and a few feet below the 1913 crest. This crest would not cause serious flooding in Franklinton today, as the Franklinton Floodwall, completed in 2004, will protect the area to crests of up to 30.9 ft. Few people know that, prior to the wall’s completion, federal guidelines prohibited almost all types of construction in Franklinton, a huge reason for the gradual decline it faced after the 1950s.


Avondale Elementary at 157 Avondale Avenue in 1908.


Avondale Elementary, present day. The school was built in 1892.

Avondale Elementary has been a school for its entire 121 year existance. Besides losing it’s rootop finials, the school is largely unchanged and is a beautiful example of late 19th century architecture.


Bellows Avenue school in 1922.


The 1905 school in the present day.

Bellows Elementary was opened in 1905 and was used for that purpose through the 1970s. The building was last renovated in 1972, but was closed as a school between that year and 1984, when Columbus Public Schools sold the property. It has changed hands a few times over the years, the last being in 2002, but nothing has come of it and the building deteriorates a bit more each year. Unfortunately, the location of the school probably proved to be its death, as the interchange of 315 and 70/71 was constructed just to the south, and 315 itself cut off Bellows Avenue. The school narrowly escaped the wrecking ball at that time, but without some type of redevelopment, the property may eventually be lost anyway.


The Columbus Heating and Ventilation Company at 433 W. Town Street on March 25, 1913, during the infamous flood.

The same building 3 years later in 1916, looking a bit spruced up as well as the newer roads that were no doubt damaged in 1913.


And 433 W. Town Street as it looked in 2010. The building was torn down the following year.

The Columbus Heating and Ventilating Company began in 1903 and still exists in the city, although obviously not at its original location. The old building went into severe disrepair and most of the roof had collapsed by the time it was demolished in 2011 as one of the first steps in the area’s rebirth. The area is going through revitalization, and the nearby 400 W. Rich artist live and work space continues to expand. Plans are also in the works for new loft apartments nearby.