Tornado Memory Project


Tornado Memory Project


The Tornado Memories Project was undertaken in 2005 as part of the 20th anniversary commemoration of the tornado that swept through the Mahoning Valley on May 31st, 1985, killing twelve Trumbull County residents and leaving hundreds injured and homeless. The Project sought to collect the personal memories and photographs of the people who experienced the tornado firsthand, and to make them available to the public through the library’s website.

The Project is ongoing. If you wish to submit your memories or images please email Elizabeth Glasgow at and please put "Tornado Memory Project" somewhere in the subject line and we will contact you.

Click here to view all Items in the collection: Tornado Memory Project

Morrison and Marshall Avenues, Newton Falls, Ohio.
The house across the street from the VFW hall has been flipped from its foundation.

Unidentified location, Newton Falls, Ohio.
These homes may have been located near Arlington Road or near Morrison and Marshall Avenues in Newton Falls.

Morrison and Marshall Avenues, Newton Falls, Ohio.
This house was lifted off its foundation and left it in the wake of the tornado.

Home of Jennie Lenarcic on Arlington Road, looking north near the covered bridge, Newton Falls, Ohio.
Youngstown Vindicator, May 4, 1999, “This house sits on the East Branch of the Mahoning River and east of the historical covered bridge which is the oldest covered bridge still standing and being used in Ohio.”

Convenient Food Mart, Niles, Ohio.
Photo taken from Union Cemetery, across the street from demolished store.

Dr. Gillette's office near the Eastwood Arms Apartments, Niles, Ohio.
In the foreground is the entrance of Doctor Gillette’s office that suffered damaged after the tornado passed through the area.

1135 Lantern Lane, Niles, Ohio.
From Youngstown State University’s oral history 1195, “The basement was all that was left of the Jamieson home on Lantern Lane. Father and sons just made it to this basement when the tornado hit that day. Many of their possessions were never…

1135 Lantern Lane, Niles, Ohio.
From Youngstown State University’s oral history 1195, “This neighborhood in Niles was in the path of the tornado that day and suffered great destruction. Some of neighbors rebuilt and stayed but many others moved elsewhere to build bigger and…

1135 Lantern Lane, Niles, Ohio.
Sifting through the debris to look for shoes and clothing to wear was the priority of the residents of Newton Falls on the day after the tornado hit. The mall was closed and people were still in shock. Eventually dumpsters had to be brought in to…

Dennis Jamieson, homeowner of 1135 Lantern Lane, Niles, Ohio
From Youngstown State University’s oral history 1195, “Local services and community support helped the victims deal with their tremendous loss. In January of 1986, this house was rebuilt enough for the family to return to the neighborhood after…

Northeast corner of North Canal and Jay Streets, Newton Falls.
Seen in shot are the Knights of Pythias Lodge #319 and the Pythian Sisters Lona Temple #537.

West side of North Canal Street, facing the police station, Newton Falls, Ohio.
Vermillion Ford, owned by George Bumbu, was located in the upper right hand corner of the photograph at the time of the tornado. The top grouping of buildings includes the post office and Newton Lanes.

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