arch 24 & 25, 1913 the Great Flood occurred while a delegation from Hiram Lodge was visiting at the annual inspection of Ostrander Lodge. The trip was made in the Ford automobile of Brother Charles E. Cook and the party started home about midnight. When they reached the bridge across the Scioto River, they saw that the water was overflowing the bridge and that it was backing up for about fifty feet. It was decided not to attempt to cross the bridge, although Brother Leo Sperling was for attempting this. They turned around and shortly after the bridge went out. They returned to Ostrander and remained the balance of the night. After learning that other bridges were out, they procured a handcar and crossed the Scioto River by means of the railroad bridge, walking home to Delaware from the East side of the Scioto River.
This date will all be remembered as the worst devastating flood in the history of Delaware County in which 13 of our citizens lost their lives and close to $1 million in property damage was suffered by stores and property owners.
Our late Brother Walter A. Whitaker, who was Worshipful Master of the Lodge, gave us the following write up of his experience;
“Monday evening March 24 was a date set for the annual inspection of Ostrander Lodge. Dr. Cornell of Westerville, Ohio, was the Inspecting Officer and invited some friends from Hiram Lodge to accompany him to a Ostrander, Rev. Jones, our Senior Warden, Worshipful Brother J. Leo Sperling, Brother Charles E Cook (our driver) and myself.”
“Remember in 1913 there were few good roads and automobiles were not geared to 90 miles an hour, so it took us about an hour to reach Ostrander. The trip was made in Brother Cooks Ford and was uneventful.”
“About midnight we start for home. When we reached the bridge across the Scioto River we found the river was overflowing the bridge and water was backing up for about 50 feet. We stopped and made a survey and decided not to attempt to cross the bridge. Brother Sperling was all for going on, but better judgment prevailed, and we turned around, luckily for us as shortly afterward the bridge went out. We reached Ostrander stayed there the balance of the night. The next morning it was still raining so we decided to board the ‘Jerk’ go to Milford Center, then to Columbus, and take the Interurban to Delaware. On arrival at the station we learned the railroad bridge over the Olentangy had been washed out and there would be no train.”
“Dr. Weller and some of the Ostrander Brethern decided that something drastic would have to be done to get rid of us so they procured a handcar, took us across the Sciotor River on the Railroad Bridge, left us off on the East side of the River and then they returned home. That was the first time I knew just where the dividing line was between Ostrander and Delaware.”
“We hiked the last 4 miles and strolled into town about 10:00 o’clock A.M. a little weary but we had had a great experience.”
Do to a heavy rainfall, nearly four inches, Lodge was not held Tuesday evening March 25th.