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The Great Flood Exhibition

July 19, 2023 - January 31, 2024


Join us for a retrospective look marking the 30th anniversary of the Great Flood of 1993. The 1993 flood of the Missouri River and its tributaries was undoubtedly record-breaking. In its wake, the Great Flood left a landscape permanently changed.

The disaster would go on record as the worst flood in United States history when measured by financial losses, which when adjusted for 2023 rates equates to $37 billion. Yet, the impacts were much wider—human suffering, financial losses, and ecological damage.

It was not just the size of the deluge that was so damaging, it was also its duration. The water would rise and fall multiple times over a span of five months, creating an air of uncertainty and a teasing hope that dissolved in false victories.

The long recovery process tested the grit of local river towns—Rocheport, Huntsdale, McBaine, Easley, Wilton, and Hartsburg—not only as they fought to protect their property but also as they rebuilt and navigated the bureaucracy required to receive relief money.

Boone County was forever changed by the devastation. Yet visit and see how the flood also strengthened community bonds, increased knowledge of our environment, and improved riverine ecosystems.

The Great Flood highlights include:
-A massive hand-painted mural by Madeleine LeMieux depicting the height of the flood stages in July-August 1993.

-9-foot Jon boat on loan from the Missouri Department of Conservation, which was used to rescue residents and transport supplies.

-Shirts worn by Charlotte Caldwell and Leslie Clay as they aided in sandbagging and cleanup after the damaging deluge.

-Grand-scale aerial photographs of the 1993 floods and narratives on historic flooding in Boone County.

-14-foot aluminum boat that ferried members of the Hilgedick family when waters blocked them from driving to their Hartsburg home. It is on loan from Terry & Kristie Hilgedick in memory of Wayne & Wanda Hilgedick.

-Archival video from local news stations covering the challenges citizens faced.

-Oars and hip boots on loan from Preston Stogsdill were also necessary supplies to brave the waters.

-A dozen enlarged newspaper articles sharing local stories of both tragedy and heroism.


July 19, 2023
January 31
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