Lewiston Ice Jam, 1938

Ice Jam 1

My father took seven photos of the Lewiston ice jam of 1938. Lake Erie, being shallow, was prone to the buildup of ice in the winter, which then went over Niagara Falls in huge blocks. The flow of the lower Niagara River couldn’t handle that much ice, and it collected in ice jams, most notably in 1844, 1909, 1936, 1938 and 1955. A winter “ice boom,” first placed in Lake Erie in the early 1960s, has successfully regulated the flow of ice since then.

Ice Jam 2

Ice Jam 5

Ice Jam 4

Ice Jam 7

Ice Jam 6

Ice Jam 3

In 1938, the ice took down the Honeymoon Bridge, one week before this photo was taken. The wreck of the bridge was held up by the ice until it finally melted in April.

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