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1868 Damage Photographs

Oakland and East Bay Damage

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“Call” Editorial on Quake Damage

“Call” Editorial Urges Building Height Limit

Fire Chief Urges Care with Fire

Bd. of Supervisor’s Special Earthquake Meeting

Earthquakes and Real Estate Prices

Chamber of Commerce Telegram to the East

How to Act During an Earthquake

By Western Union Line.


Santa Cruz County.

SANTA CRUZ, October 21.–Had a severe shock of earthquake here, at five minutes before eight this morning. The oscillations appeared to be from East to West. It was preceded by a loud, rumbling noise. The shock continued about fifteen seconds. Several brick buildings were badly cracked. There have been several smaller shock since.


A gentlemen who was in the mountains near Pescadero yesterday morning, during the earthquake shock, describes the scene as fearfully grand. Huge redwood trees swayed like fishing-rods, and immense dead limbs detached by the violence of the motion, fell to the earth. Large pieces of rock were wrestled from the mass of the mountain, and in some instances rendered the road impassable. The waters of Pescadero Creek became muddy in a moment, and the surface was covered with large bubbles. These, when a match was applied to them, burst with a slight report and a small flame, showing that they were filled with an inflammable gas, that must have come from the bowels of the earth.

Monterey County.

SAN JUAN [Bautista] NORTH, October 21.–Earthquake at 7:55 A.M. The shock was of at least thirty seconds duration, and the heaviest since that of October, 1865.

Santa Clara County.

SAN JOSE, October 21.–At four minutes to eight o’clock this morning, the heaviest earthquake we have ever experienced took place, causing great consternation , a total suspension of business for hours, and doing great damage to many buildings. The Court House shows no sign of injury. The Presbyterian Church was damaged to the extent of perhaps a thousand dollars. Moody’s Mill was badly injured. A great many chimneys were town down, and the ceilings ruined. No injury to the Convent or other Public Schools. The Baptist Church, Masonic Hall, Lyon’s store, and many other buildings are badly twisted up. A second light shock was felt at about half-past ten o’clock, doing no damage, but causing an immense excitement.

SANTA CLARA, October 21.–At four minutes before eight this morning, severe shock of an earthquake. Motion, from the northeast to southwest. No lives lost. Some damage to the brick buildings, but nothing serious; all will easily be repaired. Plenty of chimneys shaken down. This is by far the heaviest shock ever experienced here.
GILROY, October 21.–A severe shock of earthquake occurred here at 7:45 A.M., tumbling chimneys and sending everybody into the streets. No material damage done.
Marin County.

SAN RAFAEL, October 21.–A terrible shock of earthquake occurred here this morning, at five minutes to eight o’clock. It was more severe and continued longer, than the shock of October, 1865. The vibrations seemed to be from the southeast to the northwest, and lasted fully one minute. Great consternation prevailed among the inhabitants of this place. A portion of the chimney of the Court House was thrown down. We have felt eight distinct shocks to-day.

Sonoma County

PETALUMA, October 21.–At precisely eight o’clock this morning, a tremendous shock of earthquake occurred here, of about ten seconds in duration. The vibrations were apparently from north to south. The damage was considerable. A great many chimneys in different parts of the city were broken off at the roof, and many entirely destroyed. One large stone residence had the entire front thrown down. There were three families in this building, but providentially no one was injured. The southeast corner of the American Hotel, a large brick building, was cracked so that it will have to be taken down. All of the brick buildings in the city were more or less cracked and injured. All the glassware in the grocery and drug stores was more or less broken and injured. Maynard’s drug store was injured in this way more than $300. Nothing to be compared with it has ever before occurred in this place.

HEALDSBURG, October 21.–One of the severest shocks of earthquake ever felt in this place occurred here this morning at about eight o’clock, lasting about ten seconds.
SANTA ROSA, October 21.–The severest shock of earthquake ever felt in this place occurred here about eight o’clock this morning, continuing about ten seconds. Nearly all the brick buildings in town are more or less injured. Many chimneys were town down–the Court House sustaining the most damage of any building.
SONOMA, October 21,.–Two more light shocks of earthquake have been felt here, one at about ten and one at half-past eleven A.M.
Yuba County.
MARYSVILLE, October 21.–The shock here was very light, being noticed only by a few.

Nevada County

GRASS VALLEY, October 21.–Quite a severe shock of earthquake was felt here this morning about eight o’clock, causing lamps to vibrate and occupants of second stories to vacate briskly. About five minutes later, there was another very slight shock.

Tuolumne County.

SONORA, October 21.–A slight earthquake shock was felt here at four minutes past eight this morning.

San Mateo County.

REDWOOD [City], October 21.–The American Hotel is very much shaken. The Court House is standing, but unsafe. The Public School is damaged so much that the school is dismissed. Many chimneys are shaken down. A fire-wall on Merrill’s Block was shaken down. No one was killed or injured. The chimneys on Thos. Selby’s home, about two miles below, were thrown down, and some slight damage of this sort done to homes in that vicinity.

SAN MATEO, October 21.–There was an earthquake shock at eight A.M. to-day, the severest one lasting fifteen seconds. The barometer was 29 92-100 inches, and the thermometer 48. The vibration was from the north. The damage to property is not less than $5,000.
Solano County.

VALLEJO, October 21.–The earthquake was quite severely felt at Vallejo, many chimneys toppling down, but no serious injury occurring.

MARE ISLAND, October 21.–Mare Island Navy Yard experienced two severe shocks of earthquake this morning. Several chimneys were town down, and some of the buildings considerably shaken, but no serious damage was done, and no persons injured. Captain Mitchel, of the Navy informs the Bulletin that the ground shook so violently as almost to throw him off his feet, the shock being accompanied by a frightful rumbling sound. Several people took to the water, considering the stream much more safe than terra firma–which was terra firma no longer.
Daily Morning Call
Thursday, October 22, 1868

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