Silver Grove Lying Deserted
Beneath 15 Feet of Flood Water
1200 Persons Gone from Rural Community That Carried
on Tranquil Existence Just a Short Six Days Ago.
Sunken fully 15 feet beneath the swollen backwaters of the Ohio River opposite Coney Island lies the deserted village of Silver Grove, land-marked only by tilted tips of houses and a smattering of poles in a haphazard, cobwebby pattern.
Six days back, a community of 12oo persons carried on a rustic existence here as the tranquil waters of the Ohio flowed along its northern bounds. Today not one house is inhabited. All have fled their homes, biding time with nearby friends till the ravaging waters subside and the work of rebuilding can be started.
On Dodsworth Lane
More than 300 yards west of Dodsworth Lane, at its last passable point, is the tiny brick home of John Heck, lying on the water's edge. Following a series of jaunts, via the C. & O. shuttle, a bus, and a taxi, I arrived at Mr. Heck's home and explained that I would like to investigate conditions at Silver Grove. He chuckled, pointed to his boat and told me to go to it. One of the men at the house volunteered to go act as my guide.
About 100 yards ahead we swung north and crossed what is known as Four-Mile Creek, a stream that runs parallel for 2.5 miles to the Ohio River. A few yards farther our eyes met a vast expanse of uninterrupted muddy water, possibly three miles in width, extending from the hills of Ohio tot he Kentucky foothills.
The only bit of land in the community was the railroad hump, about 200 feet by 20 feet, on which six men are marooned. Food is being brought to them by boat.
“Did any of those in Silver Grove get out with their furniture?” I inquired.
“No,” my guide replied, “most folks moved their furniture from the basement to the first floor, then to the second, and finally up to the roof.”
As we passed along rows of houses tops, we head the plaintive note of a dog. He was giving out his last yell in the second floor of an abandoned house.
To our left, as we rowed up the main eastbound railroad track where the C. & O.'s George Washington used to travel, was an oil tank, lodged against a wire. The wheels and body of the tank car were still in Maysville, according to information of a railroad official.
35 Feet Under
On Second Street, the highest spot in town, it was estimated that 35 automobiles were parked, all completely out of sight.
As the sun lowered behind the Kentucky foothills and the breeze became stiffer, we turned our backs on Silver Grove and pushed back homeward, slowly, estimating that we had covered more then 5.5 miles.
I inquired of my guide, Donald Losey, if he was tired after a heavy day of rowing.
“What do you mean, heavy day?” he asked. “Why, when we folks were taking people out of their homes, we rowed at top speed from morning till night. Now, I'm so used to being tired that I don't notice it anymore.”
from a 1937 article from the Kentucky Post, by Arthur Muth