Buckeye Lake, OH Dance Hall Collapse, Aug 1924


Negroes Are Pitched Into Water In Disaster At Buckeye Lake


Accident Is Blamed On Rush to Check Room After Dance Number

BUCKEYE LAKE, O., Aug. 8. (AP)---An investigation into the cause of the accident at the dancing pavilion here last night which cost the lives of seven negroes and injured several others is expected to be started immediately. Survivors of the crash may be questioned concerning the condition of the platform earlier in the day.

The crash came about 2 o'clock last night when approximately 500 persons were dancing, according to information furnished officials. Persons also said that a few hours earlier the floor had been felt to shake under the feet of the dancers and some had left the pavilion at that time.

Six died when the southwest corner of the pavilion crashed into the murky waters below the falling timbers injuring several. Six were removed to hospitals in serious conditions.

The identified dead are:

LUCY LINN, 30, Martin's Ferry.
JOSEPHINE HALL, 28, Zanesville.
JERRY WRIGHT, 25, Columbus.
LOWELL POWELL, 9, Chillicothe.
HAZEL RAMEY, Zanesville.
and MYRTLE FORD, Lancaster.

One white boy, George Gardner, dressed in the uniform of a boy scout, sustained a broken right arm when he was struck by the falling timbers. Two babies were reported missing.

The injured are:

George Watkins, Coshocton, broken right arm.
Thelma Burton, Lancaster.
Emma Crump, Cambridge
and two taken to Newark hospital unconscious and in a serious condition.

Rescue work was hampered for a time by the pandemonium which were attending the annual day outing sponsored by the negro Elks. Nearly all sections of the state were represented on the floor.

Dozens fell into the waters when the floor caved, but were rescued or swam to safety. Hundreds frightened from the floor, watched the victims as they struggled in the water. Some unable to swim, were drowned. Others were stunned hit by timbers and did not rise to the surface.

Thomas E. Edwards, Newark, owner of the pavilion, blamed the accident on the negroes who rushed to the check room at the end of the dance. More than 200 crowded for the room, according to Edwards, causing the floor to sink. He said the place had been inspected only this year and was found to comply with state safety regulations.

Mansfield News, Mansfield, OH 8 Aug 1924