A new year begins with the hope that the city is leaving behind the desperate days of the Depression -- until a record flood forces two-thirds of its citizens from their homes.
Miranda Kinley doesn't want to evacuate. She doesn't want to leave her home, her haven from the world. But when she is surrounded by floodwater, her husband missing, and her best friend's young daughter in her care, she may not have a choice.
Blended with humor and mystery, this dramatic tale follows a young couple -- torn between his desire for a family and her doubt that she’d make a good mother -- as their lives, and the lives of their neighbors, are forever changed by a devastating flood.
Louisville, Ky., January, 1937
"love and suspense, hardship and endurance, all woven into the tragedy of the city's flood"
We've all heard of Western Union but, in 1937, Postal Telegraph had more local offices serving Louisville. If you needed to send a telegram, you could find a Postal Telegraph office on Third, Fourth, and Fifth Streets, at the Seelbach and Brown Hotels, in the Heyburn and Kentucky Home Life Buildings, at the Bourbon Stock Yards, and at 112 East Main Street, pictured above with a bicycle ready for the next delivery.
During the 1937 Flood, two hundred thousand telegrams were sent from and received in Louisville. The telegraph, like the telephone, wasn't dependent on the city's electrical service, which failed for a time.
Even before the flood, a telegram was the cheapest way to quickly reach someone out-of-town. Long distance telephone calls cost significantly more.
The trick to saving money on a telegram was to keep the message at the flat fee rate of ten words or less. Punctuation cost extra, so customers sometimes used STOP at the end of a sentence, as the word was covered by the flat rate.
Telegrams eventually lost their usefulness to more advanced technology. The last telegram in the U.S. was sent in 2006. In 1937 though, Louisvillians appreciated an efficient way to reach their loved ones.