Exhibit highlights disasters in Mahoning Valley

Museumgoers get the first look at the Disasters in the Mahoning Valley exhibit at the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor. Jessica Mowchan/TheNewsoutlet.org

Some Youngstown State University students are helping the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor shine a light on past events – natural and man-made disasters in the Mahoning Valley. Codie Talley brings us the story.

Museumgoers get the first look at the Disasters in the Mahoning Valley exhibit at the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor. Jessica Mowchan/TheNewsoutlet.org

Museumgoers get the first look at the Disasters in the Mahoning Valley exhibit at the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor. Jessica Mowchan/TheNewsoutlet.org

The Flood of 1913, the Thanksgiving snowstorm of 1950 and the tornado of 1985 are all a significant part of Youngstown history. They are some of the worst disasters to hit the Youngstown area.

Students in Dr. Donna DeBlasio’s museum curation and interpretation class, created an exhibit based on the disasters for a class project. The idea for the project came from The Society of Ohio Archivists.

DeBLASIO: The Society of Ohio Archivists every year picks a theme for the month of October because its archives month so it actually came from them and their theme this year is Disasters in Ohio History.

Heidi Summerlin, a student in the class picked the snowstorm of 1950 for her project. The snowstorm dumped 10 inches of snow across the state and 20 to 30 inches throughout Eastern Ohio.

Summerlin relied on newspapers and the archives at the museum to help with research.

SUMMERLIN: We used The Vindicator for photographs and we used old articles in The Vindicator for the backstory. Other people used actual photographs from newspapers and other things in the archives upstairs here in the museum.

While not a natural disaster, Black Monday is also part of the exhibit. Black Monday took place Sept. 19, 1977. That’s when Youngstown Sheet and Tube Co. laid off 5,000 workers. Other companies followed suit, marking the end of the Steel Era in Youngstown.

The exhibit will be on display now through next fall. For TheNewsOutlet.org, I’m Codie Talley.