Ghost Town Appears Once a Year

By WISE Web News

June 18, 2010 Updated Jun 1, 2010 at 6:55 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Indiana (Indiana's NewsCenter)--ONCE UPON A TIME LIFE ALONG THE WABASH RIVER WAS DOWNRIGHT HAZARDOUS, ESPECIALLY DURING THE SPRING SNOWMELT. THESE ARE PHOTOS OF THE GREAT FLOODS OF 1913 AND 1943 IN THE TOWNS OF WABASH, HUNTINGTON AND PERU WHEN THE WATERS OF THE USUALLY PLACID WABASH JUMPED THEIR BANKS AND ROARED THROUGH TOWN.

Bill: The '13 flood my dad lived in Peru and they rowed a boat down the streets in Peru.

IN THE EARLY 1960'S UNCLE SAM ORDERED THE ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS TO BUILD THREE RESERVIORS ALONG THE WABASH AND ITS TRIBUTARIES, AND BRING MOTHER NATURE UNDER CONTROL. THE PROJECT COST ABOUT 60 MILLION DOLLARS AND HAS SAVED HALF A BILLION IN FLOOD DAMAGE SINCE IT WAS COMPLETED. BUT COST ISN'T COUNTED IN DOLLARS AND CENTS ALONE. HUNDREDS OF RESIDENTS WERE MOVED FROM THEIR HOMES AND OFF THEIR LAND TO MAKE WAY FOR THE PROJECT. DOZENS OF FAMILY FARMS, SOME DATING BACK TO THE 1830'S, DISAPPEARED UNDER THE RISING WATERS. THE ENTIRE TOWN OF MONUMENT CITY, A PICTURESQUE HUNTINGTON COUNTY FARMING COMMUNITY, WAS BULLDOZED.

Bill: Just a small town nice town…a small town for that time. Today it would be nothing…they had a post office that time.

MANY RESIDENTS OF THE ONCE TIGHT-KNIT TOWN, NEVER SAW EACH OTHER AGAIN. BUT MONUMENT CITY ISN'T GONE ALL TOGETHER. EVERY FALL, WHEN THE WATER LEVEL OF THE SALAMONIE DROPS, THE TOWN'S OLD FOUNDATIONS RESURFACE IN A GARBLED MOSAIC ON THE RESERVOIR FLOOR. THE OLD MONUMENT CITY HIGH SCHOOL FOUNDATION AGAIN JUTS OUT OVER THE RIVER BED AS IT DID ONCE UPON A TIME, AND FOR A FEW WEEKS EACH YEAR THIS GHOST TOWN CASTS ITS SHADOWS AGAIN UPON THE EARTH, BEFORE SLIPPING BENEATH THE WATERS, TO AWAIT NEXT YEARS RESSURECTION. THIS IS ERIC OLSON REPORTING.




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