The San Francisco calamity by earthquake and fire eBook

Charles W. Morris
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 432 pages of information about The San Francisco calamity by earthquake and fire.
command of General Funston, volunteer aids to all these, and the husbands of terrified wives, and the sons, brothers and other relatives who toiled for many consecutive hours through smoke and falling walls and an inferno of flames and explosions and traps of danger of all kinds, often without food or water—­toiling as men never toiled before to save life and relieve distress of all kinds—­all these were examples of heroism and devotion to duty seldom witnessed in any scenes of terror in all time.  There are brave, unselfish men and heroic women yet in the world, and all of the best of human nature has been exhibited in large dimensions in the terrible disaster at San Francisco.


Disaster Spreads Over the Golden State

The first news that the world received of the earthquake came direct from San Francisco and was confined largely to descriptions of the disaster which had overwhelmed that city.  It was so sudden, so appalling, so tragic in its nature, that for the time being it quite overshadowed the havoc and misery wrought in a number of other California towns of lesser note.

As the truth, however, became gradually sifted out of the tangle of rumors, the horror, instead of being diminished, was vastly increased.  It became evident that instead of this being a local catastrophe, the full force of the seismic waves had travelled from Ukiah in the north to Monterey in the south, a distance of about 180 miles, and had made itself felt for a considerable distance from the Pacific westward, wrecking the larger buildings of every town in its path, rending and ruining as it went, and doing millions of dollars worth of damage.


In Santa Rosa, sixty miles to the north of San Francisco, and one of the most beautiful towns of California, practically every building was destroyed or badly damaged.  The brick and stone business blocks, together with the public buildings, were thrown down.  The Court House, Hall of Records, the Occidental and Santa Rosa Hotels, the Athenaeum Theatre, the new Masonic Temple, Odd Fellows’ Block, all the banks, everything went, and in all the city not one brick or stone building was left standing, except the California Northwestern Depot.

In the residential portion of the city the foundations receded from under the houses, badly wrecking about twenty of the largest and damaging every one more or less; and here, as in San Francisco, flames followed the earthquake, breaking out in a dozen different places at once and completing the work of devastation.  From the ruins of the fallen houses fifty-eight bodies were taken out and interred during the first few days, and the total of dead and injured was close to a hundred.  The money loss at this small city is estimated at $3,000,000.

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The San Francisco calamity by earthquake and fire from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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