A simple, double-fired piece of red pottery on display at the Delaware County Historical Society Museum, Library & Research Center is testament to one of the county’s worst natural disasters on record. On Aug. 5, 1843, the skies were gray and gave indication that rain was sure to come but Delaware County residents had no inclination of the devastation that was to come their way. In the museum’s main gallery, the glazed jug donated by Thomas B. Hewes of Upland on Nov. 1, 1931 is reminiscent of that tragedy. The jug was found floating down the Chester Creek in Upland during the Flood of 1843. At that time, stormwater management had not yet come to exist although the area was at the onset of development. During the day, reports say 16 inches of rain fell in seven hours and resulted in the loss of at least 19 lives in Delaware and Chester counties and widespread damage. Among those who died were Ellen Jackson, who died while trying to save the life of William G. Flower. She died from being swept away from the sudden rise of the water while he survived by clinging to a tree. On Darby Creek, a house was carried away as was most of the 52 bridges along Chester, Crum, Darby and Ridley creeks. The loss of the bridges alone was estimated at $80,000, exacerbated by the fact that the county had just built these bridges and was now facing the need to replace them. According to Ashmead’s account, “Homes, dams, bridges, mills, factories, livestock, people were all swept away in the ensuing floods.” Other reports noted the winds simulating hurricane forces and torrential rains that came from all directions and was seen horizontal at times. After the event, the Delaware County Institute of Science was directed to investigate the incident and its effects so that prevention efforts could be made, where possible, to avert such disasters in the future. The Flood of 1843 jug can be viewed at the Delaware County Historical Society Museum, Library & Research Center. The museum is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday and Friday; 1 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday; and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The museum’s telephone number is 610-872-0502. Parking is free on the society lot behind the building or across the street in the municipal lot. Membership in the Delaware County Historical Society ranges from $10 for students, $27 for individuals to $250 at the patron level. It includes free admission to the society’s Chester museum and library at 408 Avenue of the States, the society newsletter and preferred reservations and discounts for lectures and events. To join, please visit www.padelcohistory.org or call 610-359-0832. This jug was plucked from Chester Creek in the Flood of 1843.