New Albany Tornado

Corner of Union and Pearl Street

Historical marker describing the Tornado in 1917


Photo taken by J.P.




Side one:

Tornado struck city at approximately 3:30 p.m. March 23, 1917. Moved through north side of town, affecting roughly ninety blocks. Mayor and others formed Citizens Relief Committee. Next morning Red Cross joined forces with Committee; within hours, workers deployed throughout affected area. Red Cross nurses treated injured at St. Edward Hospital.

Side two:

Tornado killed at least 45 people, injured hundreds more, destroyed approximately 300 homes and buildings, left 2,500 homeless, cost over $1,000,000 in total damage. At this site, "Olden Street Colored School" collapsed during the storm, trapping teachers and students; there were several deaths. Tornado ranks among deadliest to strike Indiana since 1900.

Update Log 

  • November 5, 2010: Added by J.P.