Photo -- See Caption Below
Photo -- See Caption Below

Exterior View of Red Cross Relief Hotel # 3 (Kernville House)
c 1889

This was the second relief hotel that was built in Johnstown after the flood.  It was completed in August of 1889, and was located on Somerset St. across the river from Johnstown in Kernville.  It provided housing for the working class families of the area.

Tthe American Red Cross built five large structures in Johnstown after the flood, the warehouse, Locust St. Hotel, Kernville Hotel, Woodvale House or Red Cross Block, and the infirmary adjoining the warehouse.  All were dismantled in the spring, 1890.  Building materials and furnishing were distributed to those still in need and some disposed of. Barton notes in The Red Cross in Peace and War that the Johnstown warehouse, was built out of pine, and the Locust Street Red Cross Hotel of hemlock. She indicates the Kernville Red Cross Hotel was “of the same dimensions and qualities” as the Locust Street building, and probably of hemlock. She added, “Notwithstanding the fact that we took away from Johnstown as little material and furniture as was possible, after quietly disposing of the greater part of it, and this at an expense and inconvenience to ourselves which we could ill afford…”  Leftover supplies were shipped to Washington, stored in Barton's city lot, and then likely used in the construction of the Glen Echo house. There is a handwritten note in pencil on back, “Johnstown, Pa. House at Glen Echo built from these timbers.”  Most of the Glen Echo structure is pine, with some hemlock beams in the basement. 

The Baltzley brothers, developers of the Glen Echo Chautauqua community, paid to ship the lumber from Washington, D.C. to Glen Echo in 1891. They also provided most of the construction materials.  Edwin Baltzley later wrote:  “Miss Barton had some ‘boards’ as she called them, which she wanted worked into the building because of the sentiment that clung to them.  She had used them at Johnstown.  These were rough hemlock boards, not many of them, full of nails, which to plane, prepare and fit into the building cost more than new, finished and appropriate lumber.  But her wish was law, and those cherished ‘boards’ were woven into the structure as she desired.”   There is no indication of Johnstown wood being used in the 1897 remodel of the house. 
Paper. H 11.2, W 18.5 cm
Clara Barton National Historic Site, CLBA 71