Austin, Pennsylvania: Austin Dam Burst Site

Picnic tables, a park, and a giant ruptured wall help visitors recall that in 1911 the Bayless Dam burst and killed 78 people.

5384 State Route 872 North, Austin, PA
The ruined dam is just west of Hwy 872, a mile north of Austin. But you can't get to the dam from the highway. Instead, drive north one more mile, turn west at the brown Memorial Park sign, quickly cross the river then immediately turn south (left) on a dirt road and drive south one mile to the dam.
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Austin Dam Burst Site

September 30, 2011 marks the 100 year anniversary of the Austin Flood. A centennial event is being planned to remember this tragic event. A commemorative ceremony will honor the flood's victims and survivors, then Austin will turn back the clock to 1911 with fun and festivities turn of the century style.

The Austin Flood Centennial will be held on September 30 - October 2, 2011.

[Austin Flood Centennial, 03/29/2011]

Ruins of the failed dam.

Austin Dam Burst Site

The Austin Dam site is located near Austin, PA. On September 30, 1911, the Bayless Dam burst and flooded the town, killing 78. With the Johnstown Flood grabbing most of the headlines, the Austin flood was almost forgotten. The remains of the dam still remain in the position they were moved by the massive amounts of water almost 100 years ago. The skeleton of the Bayless Pulp and Paper Mill are still visible downstream from the dam site. There are picnic areas and a campground at the site.

[Mike W, 09/13/2009]

Failed dam.

Two failed dams

The Austin Dams are actually 2 dams that failed in this town's history. The first is an earthen dam that burst in 1889 and a later concrete dam that burst in 1911. In between the two dam failures, the town was ravaged with fire and bad water (causing sickness). It is located in Potter County. The town was known for it lumber business back then.

[Kevin, 03/23/2003]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Coudersport Ice MineCoudersport Ice Mine, Coudersport, PA - 9 mi.
Allegheny Arms and Armor MuseumAllegheny Arms and Armor Museum, Smethport, PA - 22 mi.
Eldred World War II Museum - Munitions PlantEldred World War II Museum - Munitions Plant, Eldred, PA - 25 mi.
In the region:
Parade of Squirrels, Olean, NY - 33 mi.

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