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.


At Alameda, on the bay opposite San Francisco, a score of chimneys were shaken down and other injuries done.  Railroad tracks were twisted, and over 600 feet of track of the Oakland Transit Company’s railway sank four feet.  The total damage done amounted to probably $200,000, but no lives were lost.  Tomales, a place of 350 inhabitants, was left a pile of ruins.

At Los Panos several buildings were wrecked, causing damage to the extent of $75,000, but no lives were lost.

At Loma Prieta the earthquake caused a mine house to slip down the side of a mountain, ten men being buried in the ruins.

Fort Bragg, one of the principal lumbering towns in Mendocino County, was practically wiped out by fire following the earthquake, but out of a population of 5,000 only one was killed, though scores were injured.

The town of Berkeley, across the bay from San Francisco, suffered considerable damage from twisted structures, fallen walls and broken chimneys, the greatest injury being in the collapse of the town hall and the ruin of the deaf and dumb asylum.  The University of California, situated here, was fortunate in escaping injury, it being reported that not a building was harmed in the slightest degree.  Another public edifice of importance and interest, in a different section of the State, the famous Lick Astronomical Observatory, was equally fortunate, no damage being done to the buildings or the instruments.


Salinas, a town down the coast near Monterey, suffered severely, the place being to a large extent destroyed, with an estimated loss of over $1,000,000.  The Spreckels’ sugar factory and a score of other buildings were reported ruined and a number of lives lost.  During the succeeding week several other shocks of some strength were reported from this town.

Thus the ruinous work of the earthquake stretched over a broad track of prosperous, peaceful and happy country, embracing one of the best sections of California, laying waste not only the towns in its path, but doing much damage to ranch houses and country residences.  Strange manifestations of nature were reported from the interior, where the ground was opened in many places like a ploughed field.  Great rents in the earth were reported, and for many miles north from Los Angeles miniature geysers are said to have spouted volcano-like streams of hot mud.

Railroad tracks in some localities were badly injured, sinking or lifting, and being put out of service until repaired.  In fact, the ruinous effects of the earthquake immensely exceeded those of any similar catastrophe ever before known in the United States, and when the destruction done by the succeeding conflagration in San Francisco is taken into account the California earthquake of 1906 takes rank with the most destructive of those recorded in history.

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