Document Collection

Valley Forge dam, 1843

From the Mary Roberts diary1:

8/5/1843 Rainy morning. We left about 10 o’clock and come very well homewards till coming down the first Baptist hill the horse fell and broke the shafts and I had to ungear him and lead him down to the Smiths this side of Baptist Meeting House. And got some men to go and bring the waggon down - they got to work and in about two hours had mended it. William Roberts came by while we were there - While it was raining tremendous, he went home and sent his dearborne for us to go to his house, but the waters raised to such a degree that we had to wait for some time for the flood to abate before we could with safety cross - many places where there was no creek the water collected and swept post fences - and everything in its way thro Radnor and on toward Chester there was great destruction both lives, bridges etc. also Mill dams and manufacturers - we stayed all night at William.

A letter from Valley Forge, Montgomery county, Pa states2:-

We had yesterday, at this place, a most destructive freshet. The rain commenced falling moderately, at an early hour in the morning, but about 3 pm it fell in torrents, and contniued so to fall for some hours. The Valley Creek, which runs through this place, rose with unexampled rapidity, and at about 7 o'clock, the western end of the substantial dam, connected with the extensive factory of Charles H. Rogers, esq, was carried away. the impetuosity of the current was tremendous, and reminded me strongly of Trenton Falls or Canada Creek, near Utica, N.Y. An extensive gun factory, just below the dam, was entirely carried away, and also another dam, just below. The damage substained here, has been quite extensive, and the reports are, that extensive breeches have been made in the canal and railroad running near this place. The particulars I have not been able to ascertain.

The gun factory destroyed at Valley Forge, was one of three erected in the days of the Revolution. The two others were, one at Harpers’ Ferry, Va, and one at Springfield, Mass. The factory at Valley Forge, has not been occupied for some years; but it is painful to see the reminiscences of our country fading from our view. May we not hope that Mr. Rogers will be induced to rebuild the factory, if only on this account?


The gun factory at Valley Forge post dated the Revolution. See The Evans Family of Valley Forge: The U.S. Model 1816 Flintlock Musket by Scott Houting, TEHS Quarterly, Vol. 40, #4 (October 2003)- MB


  1. Floods from the Mary Robert diary.
  2. Charleston Daily Courier (Charleston SC), on August 12, 1843