April 18th 1906 5:12 AM The Earth Shook

Below is an article that appeared in that weeks newspaper.

Fort Bragg’s Heavy Loss

Last Wednesday morning the people of Fort Bragg were aroused by the shock of one of the most terrible earthquakes that ever visited the pacific coast. The earth seemed to swell and heave like the bosom of the ocean and people were tossed about and thrown from their beds amidst the crashing of falling walls and collapsing buildings, making din that caused nearly everyone to think of the end of the world had come.

From a financial standpoint, our loss was very heavy, hardly a building in town remaining uninjured after the disaster and the fire which followed but again we have much to be thankful for and much to give us courage for, while it is to be regretted that our fellow townsmen should suffer loss they have a chance to recuperate their losses as there is plenty of work for all who wish to labor and the spirit of those who have the means to do so is to rebuild as soon as possible. the property of the Union Lumber Company, upon which so many of our people depend for a livelihood, is practically uninjured and the mill will positively be in operation again inside of three weeks.

The fire which wrought so much havoc was started at the time of the earthquake by the overturning of a coal oil stove belonging to Mrs. Bieber in the residence of E. C. Foushee on McPherson Street. Mrs. Bieber had been ill during the night and having lighted this stove to heat water and when the shock came the stove was upset. Mr. Fouchee rushed into the room and did his best to smother the fire but his efforts were futile and he only succeeded in scorching and burning his hands in a frightful manner, and came very near being caught and burned to death. From there the flames spread rapidly and soon the entire block was a seething mass of flames. The fire then leaped across the alley way between that and Franklin street and was encroaching on the property fronting Main St when the fire company succeeded in getting a hose to the National City steam schooner, lying at the wharf, and with the water and liberal use of powder the fire was conquered.

Nearly all of the store people were able to save their stock but the damage done to the property was immense. The chief sufferers by fire are: J. A. White, residence burned, no insurance; E. C. Foushee, residence burned no insurance – bankrupt; W. B. Ward, residence burned, insured, undertaking outfit destroyed by temblor, no insurance; Mr. Placer, cottage burned no insurance, money lost in fire, heavy loss; J. G. French residence burned; J. A. Lendstrum residence and cottage burned; Mr. Hill residence burned; Mrs. Madison residence burned, and saloons occupied by J. Granskog and Nelson & Karlola burned; Wm. Johnson, Citallman house burned; Kelly building occupied by H Barnard & Co., burned, insured; C. Scott, bicycle shop burned; Two cottages in the rear of Kelly Bldg.; Arthur Lyman, residence burned, insured; Huggins, post office building and Langdon store building burned, also small building in rear of post office; McConack, pavilion building and annex; Geo. Smith, furniture, insured; F. Buckholtz, L. Peterson saloon, wholesale rooms, McKerricher store, residence and bottling works; McKerricher Bros. heavy loss of stock; Mrs. Johnson residence burned, Eric Matson, store building on Franklin street, also notion store building and resident in rear; Albert Euberg, new building under construction, no insurance; S Samuelson, White House Hotel and residence on rear; H Berkovitz, two building, no insurance, John Mann, wholesale liquor store building and part of stock; Isaak Kemppe, Rantala saloon building and Jno. Abramson residence.

These were all the losses by fire but the temblor shook down nearly every brick building in the city. Odd Fellows Hall is a wreck as is the brick corner saloon occupied by Chester Saunders; the Hardell building was wrecked so badly that it was found necessary to demoish it as a public menace; H. A. Weller was a very heavy looser, nearly all of his residence Houses being injured more or less and hardly a house in the city escaped some damage; Shafsky Bros. brick store building crashed in with all its contents, most of which can be saved; August Wests’ 4 story hotel is practically a wreck; Leiser’s brick house on Main Street fell in with its contents and his store building on Main occupied by Andreani Bros. is badly damaged. Nearly every building on Main Stret is leaning to the south and F. Bowman’s saloon was wrecked by the fire wall of the Grand Hotel falling on it. The hotels are all in an unsafe condition and the Grand livery stable sunk three feet below the sidewalk. Both school buildings are in a critical condition and will require much work before they are fit for use. Now for repairs – Mr. Berkovits, John Mann and Isaac Kemppe have lumber of the ground ready to rebuild at once. Louis Peterson has rented a lot from F Bucholtz and will start his saloon in a tent until a building can be erected.

Frank Bucholtz will put up a one story building containing four stores as soon as possible. Mr. Huggins will rebuild the post office block at once. Shafsky Bros. will put up a one story brick building from Main Street to the alley as soon as the wreckage is cleared away. Gus west will tear down and rebuild as wll Peter Hardell. Dr. Lendrum already has men at work clearing away the ground to have the hospital repaired. Andrew McKay will rebuild at once, replacing his brick with a frame building. W. H. Grist will begin to rise the Grand stable at once. Every person able to do so is busy making repairs and no one seems to have lost heart. Jr. C. R. Johnson, speaking for the Company, has offered the people all the lumber they can use and their own time to pay for it. This is the time that tries the metal in men and we could with that fort Bragg had a few more C. R. Johnson’s and Fred C. Whites.

The post office was first moved to the bank building but that edifice appeared unsafe and it was transferred to Red Men’s Hall. Mr. Huggins and H. C. Jensen have everything in good working order as if nothing had happened out of the ordinary.

Shafsky Bros. have opened a store in Milliken’s building with the materials from their fallen brick building and will be able to save about eighty percent of their goods. Harold Barnard has placed his stock of groceries in the building formerly occupied by J. E. Sharp as a harness shop and us doing a good business. McKerricher Bros. have opened in the rear of the blacksmith shop on Laurel Street and are handing out meat and a few groceries to their customers. Berbeck has located his barber shop in Jas. Aylwards’s saloon and Pete Rasmussen is doing business in the Klondyke Saloon. The bank has closed temporarily as the locks on the vaults cannot be operated.