Never-released film footage of the devastating flood July 1951 in Florence highlights a new 21-minute video-documentary about Florence.
Two public screenings will be at noon and 3 p.m. May 28 at Masonic Lodge 417, downtown Florence. A panel discussion will follow each showing. Admission is free and the public is invited. DVDs of the video will be available for sale.
In production for a year, the video contains recordings gathered from more than 30 interviews with current and former residents of Florence. Home movies of the flood were filmed by the late Charles “Chuck” Graham. The film had been stored in Graham’s basement for 60 years.
The video details the beginning and growth of Florence and speculates on the possible reasons for the decline. At its peak in the 1920s, Florence had 3,000 residents. The town’s current population is 832.
The Kansas Humanities Council supported the project as part of the Kansas 150 short films program. The KHC and Florence Historical Society are sponsoring the screening.