Come Hell or High Water The Charleston Earthquake of 1886
The Charleston Earthquake of 1886 Charleston was a thriving seaport city with a population of 60,145 (1886). Leading up to the 1886 earthquake, there were many small tremors during the summer and fall. Several books were knocked down from library shelves.
Several tremors were reported from June. No tremors were reported during July, however several were reported during the month of August. Thomas Turner reported a tremendous noise that resembled the exposition of a steam boiler. Tremors Before the Quake
A commentator reported from the Constitution wrote, “There is something out of joint somewhere. Within the past two days seismatic disturbances have been reported from various quarters of the globe. In Greece and Egypt the shocks have been alarming violence. Simultaneously with the old world South Carolina has been shaken up and slight tremors has been felt in Georgia. Around the World
The Evening of the Earthquake On evening August 31, 1886 at 9:50 as was their custom, many Charlestonians had retired for the night or were in the process of doing so.
The Chaos Begins At 9:51, chaos suddenly replaced serenity. Earth rolled in waves and shook violently. Buildings rocked, walls cracked and fell into streets. Chimneys toppled, windows shattered, fixtures and furniture tossed about. People are thrown from their beds.
Charleston Jewish Journal, March 1994 San Francisco Chronicle, May 6, 1906 New and Courier, September 7, 1886 Atlanta Constitution August 28, 1886 Cities of Heroes, Richard N. Cote The City of Charleston Nicholas Butler References