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Guilford, Maine

Where history meets the future

EVENTS

(Page 2 of 3) Print Version 

Floods

Text By: Courtney Richardson & Zachary McKenney
Eighth Grade Students at Piscataquis Community Middle School
Images from the Guilford Historical Society

Flood in Guilford, 1923
Flood in Guilford, 1923

Item Contributed by
Guilford Historical Society

The flood of 1923 came totally unexpected. There had been a lot of snow but no rain. The ice was melting late, so it appeared there wouldn’t be enough water to drive logs. One night it rained all night and the wind blew very hard. The next morning, the river was rising quickly. People that lived in houses on River Street were forced to leave their homes. That afternoon, River Street was entirely flooded. Strong currents swept debris through the road and around houses. The athletic field was covered with several feet of rushing water. There was a lot of damage caused by this flood; homes were filled with debris, mills and machinery were ruined.

River Street Flood, Guilford, 1923
River Street Flood, Guilford, 1923

Item Contributed by
Guilford Historical Society
Flood, Guilford, 1936
Flood, Guilford, 1936

Item Contributed by
Guilford Historical Society

Another big flood was the flood of 1936. The Piscataquis River flooded again. This time the damage was caused by ice jams. The peek reached its highest point on Friday, the day after the flood started. The Gray Gable Tea room, the garage, living quarters, and over-night camps of J.O. Buzzles were completely flooded. On Friday afternoon the ice jams in Sangerville were dynamited. That released the pressure, which caused the river to drop several feet at once.

Flood and Steel Bridge, Guilford, 1936
Flood and Steel Bridge, Guilford, 1936

Item Contributed by
Guilford Historical Society

The biggest flood recorded in Guilford since 1936 was the 1987 flood. The Kennebec River flooded on April Fool's day. There had been four days of rain and warm weather that caused the snow to melt. The water started to rise early on March 31, 1987. By the end of the day on April 1, Front Street was flooded. It rose all day and it finally crested at 20 feet on April 2. Many buildings were destroyed, along with one bridge that was washed away. Pieces of homes, trees, and bundles of lumber floated down the river. When the lumber hit the Father Curran Bridge the straps snapped, which caused two-by-fours to go flying through the air. The Low’s Bridge washed away; it was 130 years old. It was a covered bridge across the Piscataquis River that connected Guilford and Sangerville.

Low's Bridge Flood of 1987

That is some information about the floods in Maine. There were many more floods in Maine, but we only told you about three of them. There were a lot of historical objects lost in these floods, the flood of 1926, the flood of 1934, and last but not least the flood of 1987 and those objects couldn’t be recovered.