‘Last Raft’ Documentary DVDs on Sale

MUNCY – “Last Raft: A Story of Courage and Tragedy on the Susquehanna,” the long-awaited documentary DVD ($20), has been released and is on sale at Muncy Historical Society, http://www.MuncyHistoricalSociety.org/giftshop.html.

The “Last Raft” details the March 20, 1938 tragedy when a lumber raft collided with a railroad bridge spanning the West Branch of the Susquehanna at Muncy. Of the 45 people who plunged into the icy river, all but seven were rescued. Although it took weeks of grappling the river and shores, all of the deceased eventually were recovered.

The DVD captures the glory and tragedy of the journey using archival film footage, still photos, eyewitness interviews and new footage shot at the actual locations of the events.

It’s not just a story about the crash. It’s the story about the journey. Many people don’t know that the Last Raft finished the journey. This one-hour documentary tells this story as never before, with a wealth of previously unshared material.

The event garnered worldwide publicity as newspaper journalists, photographers, and radio and newsreel crews tagged along. The raft was seen by many thousands of Cambria, Indiana, Clearfield, Centre, Clinton, and Lycoming County residents as it floated the river, tying up at cities along the West Branch route.

School children – some of whom remain and remember the experience – lined up along the riverbanks, many waving American flags as the raft followed the current from Clearfield, to Renovo, then to Lock Haven and Williamsport.

“Last Raft” is produced by Karen L. Frock and directed by JD DiAngelis, in conjunction with WVIA PBS Channel 44. The project was made possible, in part, by Muncy Historical Society and Museum of History.

"Where ever there is lumber being harvest today, there is a story to be told. We honestly believe that the Last Raft story will be told in virtually every lumbering community in the United States and Canada. It's a story of our heritage, but it has a wide range impact. It's the story about what happened on the Susquehanna River. It's the story about lumber heritage," said William Poulton, president of Muncy Historical Society.

More information about the Last Raft is available online at http://muncyhistoricalsociety.org/lastraft.html.

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