Anderson Ferry/ 1937 Flood

Marker #2393 in Constance, Kentucky, commemorates the Anderson Ferry and the 1937 Flood in Boone County.

On March 3, 1817, a ferry bond was issued to George Anderson to operate a ferry across the Ohio River. That year, Anderson bought the ferry and 103¾ acres for $351.87. Since then, it has served as a link between Boone County and southern Ohio. It was powered by horses on treadmills until steam power was introduced in 1867. In the 1930s, diesel-powered sidewheelers were added. The ferry has been in continuous use since 1817. In 1982, the ferry was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The 1937 Flood took much from Constance and Taylorsport. Homes on or near the main highway were ripped from their foundations and swept away by high water. The road was submerged from five to fifteen feet. Displaced residents moved into a nearby school, where they received food and supplies from the American Red Cross.

Overall, the disaster drove people from their homes in eleven states and claimed at least 335 lives (none were killed in Boone County). For eighteen days- from January 18 to February 5- the Ohio River remained above the 52-foot stage, cresting at 80 feet on January 25-26.

The problem began when northerly storms brought gale-force rain on January 2. The rains continued and total precipitation set a new record of 13.52 inches from January 1-24, which proved to be nearly four times the average. Since the entire length of the upper Ohio River was over its banks, the flood subsided slowly. The river did not return to its banks until February 5.

Images

Anderson Ferry in Ice

Anderson Ferry in Ice

The Boone, one of the Anderson Ferry boats, stuck in ice on the Ohio River in 1918. Photo courtesy of the Kentuckky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Rabbit Hash Ferry

Rabbit Hash Ferry

The Rabbit Hash Ferry, which was similar to the Anderson Ferry. It crossed the Ohio River from Rabbit Hash, Ky. to Cincinnati. Photo courtesy of Steve Conrad. View File Details Page

1937 Flood at Newport, Ky.

1937 Flood at Newport, Ky.

Two men in a boat in Newport, Ky. during the 1937 flood. Photo courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

1937 Flood at Bellevue, Ky.

1937 Flood at Bellevue, Ky.

The streets in Bellevue during the 1937 flood. Photo courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Floats in Ohio River

Floats in Ohio River

These floats were put out so trucks could cross the Ohio River to Cincinnati from the L&N Bridge during the 1937 flood. Photo courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Becky Riddle, “Anderson Ferry/ 1937 Flood,” ExploreKYHistory, accessed July 24, 2017, http://explorekyhistory.ky.gov/items/show/289.
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