The Austin Dam ruins are down a dirt road off of Jones Run, off of 105 Pennsylvania 872, in the community of Keating, Clinton County, Pennsylvania.
In 1909, Bayless Paper needed a larger dam in which to continue their paper mill that they started in the town of Austin in 1900. T. Chalkey Hatton Company was requested to construct a big concrete dam across the Freeman Run Valley. It was to be 30 feet in thickness, 540 feet long, 50 feet high and around $85,000 USD to build. Unfortunately, the Austin Dam was built at only 20 feet thick instead of 30 and shortly after its construction there were issues. The Austin Dam began to crack at the extensive pressure it was holding and bowed out 36 feet. The cracking was quickly slated as normal to the dam being newly built and a 13 foot space was blasted out to allow some of the water to spill and reduce the pressure.
However, this was not enough and on September 30, 1911, the Austin Dam busted and flooded and destroyed much of the town. The flood also claimed the lives of 78 people. The Austin Dam was rebuilt not to long after but busted again in 1942. This time the failed dam claimed no lives and was never rebuilt. Gale Largey created a book called ‘The Austin Disaster, 1911‘ about the impact of the Austin Dam on news across the world with original photos and published news reports in 2011.
Where are the abandoned Austin Dam ruins located? You can find it with these coordinates. 41.652954,-78.085436.
Image 1 used under Creative Commons License Attribution 2.0
Generic. Image 1 by Nicholas A. Tonelli / Flickr.
Image 2 used under Creative Commons License Attribution 3.0 Unported. Image 2 by Vertov76 / Wikimedia Commons.