Teach PA History
Explore PA History
Water, Water Everywhere: The Johnstown Flood

1.The 1996 National High School Mock Trial Competition was held in Pittsburgh, PA. Although the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club and its members were sued following the 1889 collapse of the Dam, all claims were either dismissed on the basis that the collapse of the Dam was "a visitation of Providence" or were quietly settled prior to trial. If you have a core of students who are interested in debate or mock trials, have them work with a volunteer lawyer(s) to develop this Mock Trial based on the Johnstown Flood of 1889. Another lawyer, a retired judge, or even an active local judge may be willing to act as the judge for this Mock Trial. Many county court houses will gladly provide a courtroom for this event. A field trip to the courthouse by all students in a class or grade level provides an audience and jury members. 2. Visits to the Johnstown Flood National Memorial, the Johnstown Flood Museum, Grandview Cemetery, the James Wolfe Sculpture Trail, the Inclined Plane, and a walking tour of Johnstown would give students access to much original source material. If the trip is not possible, the Web can serve as a virtual field trip option.

Back to Top