By MaryAnn Kromer
PHOTO BY MARYANN KROMER
Re-enactors portrayed William and Madeline Axline last fall during Tiffin Tomorrow’s Trolley tours through Greenlawn Cemetery.
A public memorial for the victims of the 1913 flood is being planned for 3:30 p.m. April 14 in the church at 230 S. Washington St. This event, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the flood, is to pay tribute to the 19 people who lost their lives in the worst natural disaster in Ohio's history. In terms of population, no other city in Ohio experienced the devastation suffered by Tiffin.
The memorial is an updated version of the 1913 service, complete with speakers and original music. It is to take place at the same hour as the original service, which was conducted in Tiffin's Grand Opera House. A copy of the original program is to be passed out at the April 14 event.
The names of the deceased are to be read aloud, and each is to be represented by a flower at the service. A presentation is to offer a glimpse into the extent of damage the area suffered and describe how Tiffin and the surrounding communities came together to aid the families of the victims.
Take a flood walking tour
Last fall, Lisa Swickard, author of "Calamity and Courage," offered 1913 Flood Walking Tours. When the 2013 Tiffin Farmers Markets resume on the second Saturday of the month, she again is to offer the tours. They are to begin at 10 a.m. at the gazebo in Rotary Park on Frost Parkway. The cost of the tours is $5 per adult and $3 for students. Family discounts are to be available.
Civic leaders at the memorial service are to speak about the foresight of past officials who were instrumental in planning the downtown flood walls. Clergy are to address the spiritual side of the tragedy. The 1976 Antique club is to present a bronze plaque to the city of Tiffin in memory of Louis Jones, who built the walls and rebuilt the bridges in the years following the flood.
Many period photos and flood-related items are to be on display in the church before and after the service. Author Lisa Swickard is to sign and sell copies of her award-winning book, "Calamity and Courage," which retells the gripping saga that befell the Tiffin community. A set of limited-edition postcards also is to be available for purchase.
After the service, a group of citizens will go to Greenlawn Cemetery and lay wreaths on the graves of the Axlines, the Knechts and George Schwab. April 9, Calvert High School students are to place wreaths at St. Mary Cemetery for John Canty, who died trying to rescue others, and at the Klingshirn monument in St. Joseph Cemetery.