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San Francisco During April 1906

James B. Stetson

Book Overview: 

A first hand account essay of the earthquakes that shook San Francisco during 1906

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Mayor at the Hall of justice, who had called a meeting of citizens for 2 o'clock. Met Mr. J. E. Tucker—sat down with him on a box in the middle of Market Street, opposite Lotta's Fountain, and we discussed the situation. We agreed that the city was doomed to destruction, and that we were unable to do anything to save it. Crowds of people were about, only looking on—some looked dazed, and others wildly excited. I walked down to Bush Street between Sansome and Montgomery, met Mr. Murphy of the First National Bank, and Herman Oelrichs, and discussed with them as to whether it would come to his building. The earthquake had thrown the heavy granite cornice of his bank building into the middle of Bush Street. Murphy, Grant & Co.'s building was on fire at this time; this was between 1 and 2 P. M.. Went along Montgomery to California Street, and found the fire approaching Montgomery Street. At 3 o'clock it had got to the Palace Hotel on the Mission-Street side, an. . . Read More

Community Reviews


The descriptions of the aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake were excellent. This is why it is important to try and read, if possible, first-hand accounts of historical events. Then one is not reading a lot of subjective or made up history.

This is a true-life adventure story ... the recollections of a man who lived through the San Francisco earthquake and fire during April 1906. Like many other San Franciscans, on April 18 he woke up at 5:13 AM being nearly thrown out of bed by sudden earth movements. That morning the most common dama

Pretty interesting eyewitness story of the San Francisco fire of 1906. Several anecdotal comments that stuck out:

1. The fire was a very slow moving fire. Though it was deadly and costly, the people who died were either trapped or tried to go into burning buildings to save items.

2. The fire departmen

This is written by a guy who was there at 5:13 on the morning of April 18, 1906, when the earthquake hit the city. A lot of small things and some glass were broken where he lived. He looked out the window and could see fallen masonry and other damage to the buildings around him. He goes outside and