At precisely fifteen minutes to one P.M. Oct. 8th, 1865, the City of San Francisco was visited by the heaviest Shocks ever felt in the vicinity by "the oldest Inhabitants."
The first shock occurred as above stated, and lasted perhaps five seconds, the ground
undulated violently, the waves of motion seeming to be, as usual, from northeast to
southwest, although many person, noted for careful observation, declare that it was the
reverse, or from west to east. This shock made the windows rattle, and sent nearly
everybody into the streets, and away from the vicinity of high-
The second shock, which was far more severe, followed in about five seconds, and accompanied by a loud sliding noise, partially due to falling walls, glass and plastering, and particularly, apparently originating in the earth.
The vibration of this shock was very severe, and high walls waved and swayed in the air like willow branches in the wind. Window, wherever pinched or slightly strained, were wrecked in an instant; plastering came down in showers, bells rung, walls cracked and general consternation ensued.
The latest shock lasted, perhaps, six or seven seconds, vibrating east and west, and then all was over.
This is but a beginning of the amount of the damage
done. Scarcely a house in the city that does not show some mark
of the visitation, in cracked walls, open joints, flaked plaster, or a cranky position and
many of the old heavy brick structures are so shaken up and twisted as to be dangerous to
the occupants. On the low made ground in the southern portion of the city the effect was
particularly visible. The vicinity of Howard street, from Fifth to Eighth, exhibited lively
signs of caving in. In some spots the streets and lots adjoining, sunk, and in others rose. A
lot on the southwest corner of Seventh and Howard streets, sunk 14 feet, leaving a sewer
bare and broken; and where Saturday was a dry bank of sand, to-
The City Hall building, which is badly damaged. The front walls show but few cracks, but at the top the wall is so badly sprung as to let the rafters out in several places. The inner walls are badly cracked and shattered, and large cracks appear in the rear wall, on the northeast corner near the area. The oscillation of the wall was so great as to cause the fire bell to strike once quite distinctly. Until the building has been carefully examined by architects, it is perhaps not work our while to pass an opinion as to its safety and the extent of the repairs which may be necessary.
The large brick block at the southeast corner of Battery and Washington streets, extending
along Battery street, from Merchant to Washington, is very badly damaged, so much so
that its tearing-
The house of the California Engine Company No. 4 on Market street between Sansome and
Battery, is so badly damaged that the Chief of the Fire Department has ordered the engine
to be removed to the Corporation Yard for safety. It will not be taken back until further
notice. It was the impression, last night, that the whole building would have to come