WU member since Oct. 2005. I enjoy reading, crafts, crosswords, puttering in the yard, old movies and hanging out with my friends on WU.
By: palmettobug53 , 4:22 PM GMT on August 31, 2011
I am revisiting the 2006 blog that I'd put up for the 120th anniversary. Sorry, but all the images I had in that header have winked out and I'm not going to hunt them down again. There is a link to an archive of images at the St. Louis University lower down as well as a link to more images at the Lowcountry Digital Library.
I have added a couple of new links, including one from the Waring Library at MUSC. See below.
Though I was just a lad at the time, I vividly recall the sensations of the moment and many heart-rending incidents of that night of terror. In view of the sharp intensity of the shock and its destroying affect, I do not hesitate to assert that the temblor which wrecked Charleston was more severe than that of April 18 last, and in relative destruction considerably worse.
It was about 9:50 o�clock on the evening of August 31, 1886, that the people of Charleston felt the quiverings of the first earthquake shock ever known in that part of the country. They had just returned from worship and not many had yet retired.
The day had been an exceedingly hot one and the evening was unusually sultry, with such a profound stillness in the air that it provoked general remark.
The temblor came lightly with a gentle vibration of the houses as when a cat trots across the floor; but a very few seconds of this and it began to come in sharp jolts and shocks which grew momentarily more violent until buildings were shaken as toys. Frantic with terror, the people rushed from the houses, and in so doing many lost their lives from falling chimneys or walls. With one mighty wrench, which did most of the damage, the shock passed. It had been accompanied by a low, rumbling noise, unlike anything ever heard before, and its duration was about one minute.
No need to tell of the horrors of that moment or of those succeeding. The fact that lighter shocks continued at frequent intervals throughout the long, dreary night kept the nerves of all keyed to such a high tension that it is not strange that several persons lost their reason.
Paul Pinckney in Lessons Learned from the Charleston Quake
As you walk around the residential streets in downtown Charleston, you will see many old buildings that had earthquake rods installed after the 1886 quake. Some are decorative and some are plain. Some are not real. They are simply there for show; they were not installed for stability but for charm.
Once you know what to look for, you can find evidence of the earthquake everywhere. Repair jobs can be spotted by rather large zig zags in the mortar work on the sides of houses and buildings. Sometimes you'll notice a slight difference in the shade of the bricks that were used for the repairs.
This is a collection of photos of the quake damage maintained at St. Louis University.
Here are some more photos from the Lowcountry Digital Library.
Excerpt from City of Heroes: The Great Charleston Earthquake of 1886 by Richard Cote.
Damage at the Medical College of S.C., now called the Medical University of S.C. (My employer)
USGS: S.C. Earthquake Information
Article in the Post and Courier Aug 31, 2011. There will be another, more in depth article in Sunday's paper.
Here it is: One Night That Changed Charleston Forever
Faults and Fractures- The Medical Response to the Charleston Earthquake of 1886, an MUSC online exhibit to commemmorate the 125th anniversary of the quake.
HPShopping Coupon Code
The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.
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