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San Francisco Earthquake History 1880-1914

April 14, 1880
Strong earthquake shock felt today.

May 5, 1880
Slight earthquake shock today at 11:35 a.m.

June 24, 1880
At 12:47 a.m. there was an earthquake.

November 4, 1880
Sharp earthquake shock was felt at 7:37 p.m.

April 10, 1881
Several earthquake shocks were felt between 2 and 2:15 a.m.

September 18, 1881
Sharp earthquake shock today.

October 31, 1881
4:10 p.m. Slight earthquake shock felt in San Francisco.

November 11, 1881
There was a slight earthquake shock at 4 p.m.

November 13, 1881
11:15 p.m. Smart shock of earthquake felt in San Francisco.

March 6, 1882
Light earthquake felt at 1:46 in the afternoon.

April 13, 1882
There was a sharp earthquake shock at 6:30 a.m.

July 15, 1882
A sharp earthquake shock at 7:45 p.m. Felt strongly at Centerville in Alameda County.

August 9, 1882
Light earthquake shock at 8:45 p.m.

October 20, 1882
There was a very sharp earthquake shock that woke people up this morning.

October 31, 1882
A sharp earthquake was felt here and at Sonoma, Napa, Petaluma and San Rafael.

January 23, 1883
Light earthquake shock tonight at 11:40.

March 30, 1883
Three earthquakes were felt here today. They did damage at Hollister where plaster fell. The shocks were violent in Watsonville where clocks were stopped.

October 9, 1883
Very sharp earthquake today. Mr. Tennent said it was the strongest since 1868.

October 10, 1883
Another strong shock of earthquake was felt today.

October 30, 1883
Light earthquake felt today.

March 15, 1884
Very light earthquake shock at 3:07 a.m.

March 25, 1884
Three earthquake shocks caused some damage to brick buildings along the City Front.

July 15, 1884
There was a very light earthquake around dawn today.

November 9, 1884
Three shocks of earthquake frightened people in Hollister.

January 26, 1885
There was a moderate earthquake at 1:33 this morning, and a lighter one at about 9 p.m.

March 30, 1885
A strong earthquake was felt here. Reports from Salinas said fissures developed at the junction of the Pajaro and San Benito rivers.

April 11, 1885
Earthquake felt at 8:05 p.m. It did much damage to the south near Monterey.

December 30, 1885
A sharp, rattling earthquake, quite severe, was felt today.

January 26, 1886
There was an earthquake today. It was also felt in several places in California.

May 27, 1886
A series of earthquake shocks have been felt for the past two days.

June 7, 1886
Light earthquake felt at 1:32 p.m. A sharper quake lasted for 10 seconds at 4:13 this afternoon.

July 2, 1886
Light earthquake shortly after midnight.

August 23, 1886
An earthquake was felt at 4 p.m.

September 29, 1886
The "Weekly Star" quoted a Canadian weather forecaster named Wiggins as saying San Francisco would be destroyed by an earthquake today. No earthquake was felt in San Francisco on this day.

October 15, 1886
There was an earthquake at about 10 p.m.

November 11, 1886
Slight earthquake shock at 7:11 p.m.

December 6, 1886
An earthquake was felt here and at Santa Cruz.

January 11, 1887
Two earthquake shocks were felt at 4:10 a.m.

October 19, 1887
Slight earthquake shock was felt today.

December 4, 1887
Light earthquake felt at 4:30 a.m. Reports from Haywards said it was a sharp shock.

January 17, 1888
Earthquake was felt at 10:10 p.m. Also felt in Oakland.

February 29, 1888
A strong earthquake was felt today at 2:50 p.m. The quake consisted of two shocks about one minute apart. Many people along Montgomery St. became alarmed. It was most severe around Pine and Mason sts. Two waves were recorded on the Duplex seismometer at 917 Pine St. Reports from Santa Rosa said walls were cracked there.

March 28, 1888
Professor Davidson said there was a light earthquake shock at 1:41 a.m. that woke some people up.

September 23, 1888
Slight shock of earthquake at 11:30 a.m.

November 18, 1888
Shocks of earthquake were felt at 2:28 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 5:37 p.m. No damage in San Francisco, but chimneys were thrown down in Brooklyn, East Oakland.

May 19, 1889
Earthquake today did minor damage in San Francisco. It was most severe at Antioch.

July 31, 1889
Severe earthquake shock was felt. It damaged the telescope at Chabot College in Oakland.

November 15, 1889
A light earthquake shock was felt here. It was very severe in Healdsburg.

April 24, 1890
Earthquake felt in San Francisco. It was very strong near Chittenden, east of Watsonville, where chimneys were thrown down and fissures appeared near the fault. The railroad track was moved by the earthquake.

May 11, 1890
Light earthquake in San Francisco, but very heavy at San Leandro where some buildings were shaken.

May 14, 1890
The railroad has kept a crew of carpenters in the vicinity of bridges near the Chittenden Ranch above Pajaro because of continued earthquake shaking and the need to repair the bridges.

July 1, 1890
Sharp shock of earthquake at 12:33 a.m that lasted 10 seconds and woke many people up. Gas fixtures and window frames rattled.

January 2, 1891
Light earthquake shock at noon. Damage was reported at San Jose and Lick Observatory.

May 6, 1891
Four-second earthquake shock at 8:30 p.m.

May 8, 1891
Very minor earthquake at 6:10 p.m. that was noticed by few people.

May 20, 1891
A light earthquake was felt at 10:04 p.m.

June 28, 1891
Double shock of earthquake at about 3 a.m.

August 23, 1891
Strange reports from Mono Lake told of the lake emitting columns of steam and sulphurous fumes rising from the land. There was an earthquake there last Sunday.

October 11, 1891
Light earthquake shock felt in San Francisco. It was reported that the shock was apparently most severe at Napa and Sonoma where people were shaken out of bed.

October 14, 1891
Another light earthquake at 4:30 this morning. It did cause damage at Sonoma which was visited by earthquake on Oct. 11.

April 19, 1892
A very strong shock of earthquake. At the Palace Hotel many people were frightened and some statuettes and glass were broken. The clock of the Ferry Building stopped as did other clocks in the building. Felt severely on made ground. Greatest damage was in the Vacaville area where nearly all of the brick structures were wrecked.

April 21, 1892
Many of the buildings that survived the earthquake of April 19 were knocked down at Vacaville. The shock was quite sharp in San Francisco.

April 29, 1892
Distinct earthquake was felt at 4:09 this afternoon.

May 18, 1892
Light earthquake shock felt that was much stronger in Oakland.

June 26, 1892
Light earthquake felt at 5:23 a.m.

October 21, 1892
An earthquake was felt here tonight at 10:28. Reports from Napa and Sonoma said the shock was strong there and it demolished chimneys and broke windows. Every plastered house showed signs of the shock.

November 24, 1892
Light shock of earthquake at 12:10 a.m. that lasted two seconds.

June 6, 1893
Strong earthquake today at 9:25 a.m. and many men in downtown offices rushed to the streets. The shock was much more severe in Oakland.

July 30, 1893
Short, sharp earthquake at 1:30 a.m.

August 9, 1893
An earthquake was felt at 1:15 a.m. It was later learned that the quake knocked down chimneys and broke windows at Santa Rosa. The courthouse there was also damaged.

April 14, 1894
A slow, gentle earthquake was felt at 11:07 p.m. It was later learned that the earthquake did much damage at Mendocino and the lighthouse tower at Pt. Arena was cracked.

April 28, 1896
Professor Davidson was in the Alaska Commercial Building, 310 Sansome St., when he felt today's earthquake. He said, "All who felt the shock agreed that the movement was from east to west. The shock was very light and of short duration, lasting not more than a second, of that long."

January 17, 1897
Two earthquake shocks four second apart were felt all over the city at 1:10 p.m.

January 20, 1897
An earthquake shock was felt today.

June 20, 1897
The severe earthquake today at 12:13 p.m. lasted 20 seconds and stopped many clocks in San Francisco. In Oakland people ran from their houses in fright. There was much damage to brick buildings in Gilroy. An adobe building was wrecked at Sargent. In Salinas chimneys and firewalls were thrown down, as they were in Hollister and Gilroy. An adobe wall of the Mission San Carlos at Monterey fell, frightening worshipers. Several fainted.

July 19, 1897
Santa Barbara was badly shaken by two shocks of earthquake at 11:45 p.m. The earthquake caused the old tower clock bell to strike.

July 26, 1897
An earthquake with a quick, jerky motion struck at 5:40 p.m.

October 2, 1897
A mild earthquake was felt at 8:42 a.m.

December 23, 1897
Two distinct earthquake shocks were felt at 5:20 a.m.

March 30, 1898
Severe damage was done in San Francisco by the earthquake that struck at 11:43 p.m. The quake lasted 40 seconds and twisted chimneys and broke chandeliers. There was much panic. A building at 445 Clementina collapsed, and many chimneys were cracked. Whittier School on Harrison at Fourth was badly damaged because it was on made ground. Chimney on the Jefferson and Denman schools were so twisted that they were rebuilt. Heaviest damage was reported at the Naval Base at Mare Island. Congress appropriated $350,000 for repairs to the Naval Yard. A half-dozen fires were caused in Vallejo when oil lamps overturned.

April 14, 1898
Light shocks of earthquake felt in San Francisco at 10:46, 10:53 and 11:07 p.m. Many people, however, ran into the streets fearing a repetition of the March earthquake. It was reported that many buildings collapsed in Mendocino and the populace there remained out of doors for the rest of the night. 22 earthquake shocks were reported in Ukiah.

April 18, 1898
Nine shocks of earthquake were so strong at Camp Prairie in Mendocino County that the school closed.

August 7, 1898
Professor Alexander McAdie of the Weather Bureau said there was an earthquake shock at 11:57 a.m. It made doors and windows creak in the Western Addition, but there was no damage.

April 30, 1899
Professor McAdie reported a slight earthquake at 2:41 p.m. It did break windows at Watsonville.

June 1, 1899
People rushed to the streets in panic when the earthquake struck at 11:19 p.m. Many windows were broken South-of-Market and the clock at the Union Ferry Building stopped.

July 6, 1899
Severe earthquakes struck San Francisco at 12:10 p.m. in the form of two shocks. Worst damage was reported at Pleasanton and Watsonville where windows were broken and chimneys overthrown.

August 4, 1899
Another severe earthquake struck at 12:44 p.m. It was also reported strongly at Saratoga.

August 5, 1899
Another strong earthquake today at 9:42 p.m.

October 12, 1899
An earthquake here at 9 p.m. was felt strongest at Santa Rosa where plaster was knocked from walls and some plaster fell.

January 14, 1900
Sharp shock of earthquake was felt at 11:27 a.m.

April 30, 1900
A sharp earthquake was felt at 2:41 p.m. Reports from the Hotel Del Monte in Monterey described the earthquake there as violent.

July 29, 1900
A light earthquake was felt at 5:07 a.m.

August 31, 1900
An earthquake was felt at 7:21 p.m.

January 2, 1901
An earthquake was felt at 11:45 a.m. It ws learned that the most damage was done in Monterey County, where the ground cracked open. Chimneys were thrown down in Parkfield.

March 3, 1901
An earthquake was felt here today.

June 26, 1901
Two light earthquakes were felt at 2:41 p.m., and 4:56 p.m.

October 29, 1901
An earthquake was felt at 4:36 p.m

December 14, 1901
A shock of earthquake was felt at 8:14 a.m. that lasted six seconds.

December 15, 1901
Another earthquake was felt at 12:11 p.m.

April 13, 1902
An earthquake of two or three short jolts were felt.

April 19, 1902
Today's earthquake at 8:09 a.m. caused chandeliers to sway and crockery to rattle. The earthquake was two shocks ten seconds apart.

May 19, 1902
A moderate earthquake was felt at 10:31 a.m. Reports were that nearly all chimneys were thrown down at Elmira in Solano County.

May 20, 1902
A rolling earthquake was felt today at 10:20 p.m.

August 11, 1902
An earthquake at 6:09 a.m. was also felt in Berkeley and Livermore.

September 18, 1902
A three-second earthquake was felt at 3:51 a.m.

September 23, 1902
There was an earthquake at 5:31 a.m., and the sea was much disturbed at Fort Point.

June 11, 1903
Quite a severe shock of earthquake at 5:12 a.m. that was also felt in Sonoma and Placer counties. It was described at Niles as being the most severe jolt since Oct. 21, 1868.

August 2, 1903
Quite a severe earthquake jolt did some damage in San Francisco. The most damage was reported in San Jose where hardly a building is not more or less damaged. The quake knocked the seismographs at Lick Observatory out of commission.

January 2, 1904
A three-second earthquake was felt at 10:04 p.m.

January 3, 1904
A mild earthquake was felt at 2:38 a.m.

January 5, 1904
A series of earthquake began at 2:30 a.m. today and ended around 10 a.m. All were small.

January 11, 1904
An earthquake was felt today.

February 22, 1904
Earthquake felt at 3 a.m.

March 1, 1904
Light earthquake felt at 6:09 a.m.

April 21, 1904
Mild earthquake felt at 3:50 a.m.

April 27, 1904
An earthquake was felt at 9:10 p.m.

July 21, 1904
Very mild earthquake felt at 11:25 p.m.

July 30, 1904
Earthquake felt at 2:26 a.m.

November 27, 1904
Mild earthquake was felt at 8:20 a.m.

December 1, 1904
A series of four earthquakes were felt between 1 o'clock and 1:10 a.m.

December 2, 1904
A shock of earthquake was felt today.

December 4, 1904
Mild earthquake felt at 12:04 a.m. The earthquake was reported to have been quite severe at Eureka.

December 5, 1904
An earthquake was felt here today.

December 6, 1904
Another earthquake was felt today.

December 8, 1904
Another mild earthquake today at 4:14 a.m

December 9, 1904
Another mild earthquake today.

December 14, 1904
An earthquake this morning at 7:10 a.m was felt all around the Bay.

December 16, 1904
Another earthquake was felt.

January 1, 1905
Several windows were broken by an earthquake today at 3:38 p.m.

March 18, 1905
There was an earthquake today.

April 18, 1905
Another earthquake today.

April 25, 1905
An earthquake at 3:15 p.m. caused landslides along the coast in San Mateo County.

May 25, 1905
An earthquake was felt at about 6:50 a.m. It was also felt in Fresno, Salinas, Santa Cruz and Yosemite.

July 13, 1905
There was an earthquake today.

August 8, 1905
An earthquake was felt here today.

August 22, 1905
There was another earthquake today.

August 31, 1905
An earthquake was felt today.

September 16, 1905
An earthquake was felt here today and at Fruitvale across the Bay.

November 26, 1905
An earthquake was felt today.

November 27, 1905
There was another earthquake today.

November 28, 1905
An earthquake was felt for two seconds at 11:25 a.m.

December 3, 1905
A strong earthquake was felt here today at 11:30 a.m. causing much alarm.

December 18, 1905
There was an earthquake today at noon.

December 28, 1905
There was an earthquake today.

March 5, 1906
Professor McAdie reported an earthquake at 9:30 p.m.

April 18, 1906
San Francisco was wrecked by a Great Earthquake and then destroyed by the seventh Great Fire that burned for four days. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of trapped persons died when South-of-Market tenements collapsed into liquefied "made" ground. Most of those buildings immediately caught fire and trapped victims could not be rescued. Fire Chief Engineer Dennis T. Sullivan was mortally wounded when a chimney of California Theatre and hotel fell upon the fire station in which he lived at 410-412 Bush St. Acting Chief Engineer John Dougherty commanded fire operations. All telephone and telegraph communications stopped within the city, although some commercial telegraph circuits to New York and to India remained temporarily in operation. There were 135 aftershocks on April 18 and 22 on April 19.

The earthquake was so strong that sensitive seismographs around the Bay were either knocked from their supports or the records went off the scale, so that they gave no information as to the actual earthquake movements.

The shock was perceptable from Coos Bay, Oregon, to Los Angeles, and as far east as central Nevada, an area of about 375,000 square miles, approximately half of which was in the Pacific Ocean. The region of destructive effect extended from the southern part of Fresno County to Eureka, about 400 miles, and for a distance of 25 to 30 miles on either side of the fault zone. The distribution of intensity within the region of destruction was uneven. Of course all structures standing on or crossing the rift were destroyed or badly damaged. Many trees standing near the fault were either uprooted or broken off. Perhaps the most marked destruction of trees near Loma Prieta, where, according to Dr. John C. Branner, "The forest looked as though a swath had been cut through it two hundred feet in width." In little less than a mile he counted 345 earthquake cracks running in all directions.

The U.S. Post Office at Seventh and Mission sts. was dreadfully damaged by the earthquake. Assistant to the Postmaster Burke said, "walls had been thrown into the middle of various rooms, destroying furniture and covering everything with dust. In the main corridors the marble was split and cracked, while the mosaics were shattered and had come rattling down upon the floor. Chandeliers were rent and twisted by falling arches and ceilings."

Within the area of destruction, the distribution of destructive effects was far from uniform. These were greatest in the immediate neighborhood of the fault zone, but there were place many miles from the San Andreas fault where the earthquake destruction was greater than in other places near the fault. Intenstified effects were found in the alluvial valley region extending from San Jose to Healdsburg. Santa Rosa, twenty miles from the San Andreas fault line, sustained more damage, in proportion to its size than any other city in the state. This suggested to scientists the possible movement on the Hayward fault, and perhaps others, although no surface indications of such movement were found.

April 18, 1906
Two earthquake in Los Angeles just before noon, about ten minutes apart. The quaking began as thousands gathered around bulletin boards to read the latest dispatches from San Francisco. Thousands ran in panic when the earthquakes struck.

April 22, 1906
Father Ricard at the University of Santa Clara wrote to the "San Jose Mercury"; "The earthquake period is gone. Once the pent up forces of nature have had a vent, nothing of a serious nature need be apprehended. At the most a succession of minor shocks may be felt and that's all. It is not unreasonable, therefore, for people to continue in dread of a new destructive temblor. People should fearlessly go to work and repair mischief done and sleep quietly at night anywhere at all, especially in wooden frame. Never mind foreboders of evil: they do not know what they are talking about Seismonetry is in its infancy and those therefore who venture out with predictions of future earthquakes when the main shock has taken place out to be arrested as disturbers of the peace."

April 25, 1906
Famed actress Mme. Helena Modjeska placed her ranch near Los Angeles at the disposal of refugees from San Francisco and other cities affected by earthquake and fire.

May 5, 1906
Jack London's eyewitness account of the earthquake and fire was published in Collier's Magazine. London was paid 25 cents per word for the article.

May 17, 1906
A very strong earthquake was felt at 8:21 p.m. It was stronger than most of the hundreds of tremors that have been felt since the Great Earthquake.

May 19, 1906
Governor Pardee asked the subcommittee of the Mayor's Committee on Reconstruction of San Francisco to write proposed legislation for special Call of the Legislature to assist San Francisco following the earthquake. Subcommittee members include Tirey Ford of United Railroads. Garret McEnerney and "Boss" Abraham Ruef. Subcommittee wrote the Burnt Records Act, as well as the enabling legislation to allow the proposed City and County of Los Angeles to acquire Owens Valley water for protection against major fires such as the one that destroyed San Francisco.

May 22, 1906
United Railroads received by telegraph $200,000 to be used to bribe city officials. The money was received in gold, but was exchanged at the U.S. Mint for small bills donated for earthquake relief.

July 28, 1906
Professor Simon Litman of the University of California told students in Philadelphia that San Francisco would never again be destroyed by earthquake as it was a few months ago. The professor said new buildings were being constructed that could not be destroyed by earthquake.

December 24, 1906
Los Angeles Citizens' Relief Committee donated $10,000 to San Francisco. $5000 went to the University of California Hospital to care for injured earthquake survivors. The balance went to the Golden Gate Orphanage and the Industrial Farm for Destitute Children.

January 6, 1907
Mild earthquake was felt here and in Santa Cruz as well, where it was described as a quick, vicious shaker.

April 13, 1907
New York City police were on the lookout for San Francisco attorney Walter C. Stevens, who lost everything in the earthquake, became despondent, and was given money by the relief committee to go East. It was feared he would commit suicide.

June 5, 1907
Strong earthquake felt around the Bay at 12:27 a.m.

April 25, 1908
Slow, gentle earthquake that lasted more than a half-minute was felt at 3:33 a.m.

April 29, 1908
Sharp earthquake felt at 12:41 a.m.

August 4, 1908
Dedication of the Relief Home for the Aged and Infirm erected from monies contributed to the relief of sufferers of the earthquake.

December 14, 1908
An earthquake was felt at 8:50 p.m.

December 22, 1908
A short earthquake jolt was felt at 1:48 p.m.

February 14, 1909
Mild earthquake lasted ten seconds at 7:55 a.m.

June 5, 1909
John Jules Jusserand, French Ambassador to Washington, presented a gold medal to San Francisco, commemorative of her rise from the ashes and ruins of the earthquake of 1906.

October 19, 1909
Portolá Festival opened to celebrate San Francisco's recovery from the earthquake and fire.

October 28, 1909
Survivors of 1906 were terrorized today by a strong earthquake that struck at 10:45 p.m. The greatest damage was at Fortuna where chimneys were wrecked. Clocks were stopped in Eureka.

March 10, 1910
Another strong earthquake at 10:52 p.m. It was strongest near Santa Cruz and was felt all the way to Nevada City.

June 9, 1910
Two earthquake jolts at 10:30 p.m. The quake was centered in Alameda.

December 31, 1910
An earthquake at 4:11 a.m. woke some people up in San Francisco. The quake, centered near Salinas, broke water mains there.

March 11, 1911
Another earthquake at 1:30 p.m. centered in San Benito County where plastering was cracked and things were thrown from walls.

July 1, 1911
Earthquake today at 2 p.m. caused minor damage and considerable fright among the people. It was centered near Coyote in Santa Clara County. It did considerable damage at Lick Observatory where the large telescope was moved three-fourths of an inch.

September 12, 1912
Mild earthquake at 9:27 a.m. centered in the Santa Cruz Mountains and was felt as far as Antioch.

October 25, 1913
An earthquake at 1:45 a.m. Scientists said it was centered at Colma, just south of San Francisco.

January 23, 1914
Strong earthquake at 7:33 p.m. It was centered at San Bruno along the San Andreas fault.

September 4, 1914
Earthquake centered at Laguna Honda felt at San Francisco at 12:56 a.m.

November 8, 1914
Earthquake at 6:31 p.m. centered near the town of Laurel in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Some damage was done there.

December 8, 1914
Light earthquake at 2:42 a.m. centered in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

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