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’ four 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. 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.

Fort Bragg Advocate 25 April 1906:

Earthquake & Fire. Fort Bragg Suffers Heavily. One Life Lost.

We are alive and we have much to be thankful for.

One solid square block and a half of another, right in the center and best part of town are in ashes. Thousands of dollars in property went up in smoke, the destruction of which the big earthquake failed to accomplish.

It was just sixteen minutes past 5 o’clock last Wednesday morning when this place was hit from the south by an earthquake, and the damage and ruin it caused will never be forgotten. It is terrible to contemplate the reality of what a few moments accomplished on that memorable morn, and we are indeed fortunate to pass through such a trying ordeal with the loss of only one life.

The morning dawned beautiful. There was not a particle of wind, but an awful, quiet stillness. But all of a sudden the earth seemed to up-heave and buildings rocked back and forth as if they were made of paper. Every brick building in town, with the exception of Gus West’s saloon on Redwood Avenue, and the building of the Bank of Fort Bragg being leveled to the ground.

The safe in the Advocate building was thrown across the room, and the large cylinder press, weighing many tons, was moved three inches to the south and two inches to the west. Type was scattered all over the floor and much damage done to standing jobs. But for all that we expect to get straightened up in a week or two.

The fine three story hotel of Gus West’s on Main Street was completely ruined. On each corner the brick broke away and fell, and if it was not for the pine studding the whole building would have fell [sic] and killed all the people within it. Mr. West is one of our most enterprising citizens and has the sympathy of everybody in his loss.

The fine brick building owned by the Odd Fellows across the street from the Advocate office, valued at nearly $10,000, was nearly leveled to the ground by the first shock of the earthquake. It is a complete wreck.

The hospital building was badly damaged, if not ruined. The brick from the Odd Fellows building pressed in the north wall knocking the building to one side. Dr. Lendrum and H. R. Baum’s loss is heavy, the x-rays being ruined. Their loss will amount to about $9,000, the drug store alone suffering to the extent of $5,000.

The large wooden building belonging to H. A. Weller on the corner of Main and Laurel streets was wrecked, the north wall leaning in and the south one out. It is thought by some that it can be straightened up.

Shafsky Brothers’ fine brick store collapsed, burying up the big stock of goods it contained. The building was completely ruined. They have moved into Milliken’s Building on Main Street and are going ahead as if nothing happened. They estimate their lost at over $15,000.

The Hotel Windsor had windows broken and was shaken up considerable, but not seriously damaged. The same can be said of the Grand Hotel.

The brick building owned by Andrew MacKay on the corner of Main Street and Redwood Avenue and occupied as a saloon by Theodore Chester and Albert Saunders was completely wrecked.

The fine brick building adjoining, owned by G. Rudolph and used as a barber shop also went to the ground, a complete wreck. By its loss Mr. Rudolph is out nearly $3,000.

The saloon occupied by Scott Saunders slid down the street about a foot and Frank Baumann’s saloon was battered from top to bottom. The Grand Hotel stood the racket well but is damaged about the foundation and by the walls bulging out.

The Grand Livery Stable dropped down about six feet and will have to be rebuilt, being lop-sided.

The fine brick building of the Bank of Fort Bragg was cracked in several places. Otherwise it is alright.

J. E. Weller’s residence dropped down off the foundations and is damaged to considerable extent. The same can also be said of the residence of J. A. McCallum.

P. O. Hardell’s big brick building on the corner of Laurel and Franklin streets was completely ruined. What was left of the building standing had to be tore [sic] down. Mr. Hardell saved most of the goods but they were damaged more or less. The destruction of the building means a loss to Mr. Hardell of at least $8,000.

The residence of Mr. Betz was thrown from the foundation, and the schoolhouses were damaged by the shock. Nearly every house in town being shifted on its foundation or damaged by broken chimneys and broken glass, and to make matters worse, a serious fire occurred.

Mrs. Beebe was rooming in Mr. Foushee’s house, and she was using a coal-oil stove, and in some way or another she succeeded in starting a big fire. Mr. French went to his door when the earthquake happened, and he says he saw flames shooting out of the roof of the building. They spread rapidly, and as the water system in town was knocked out, the fire raged and if the National City had not pumped water from the wharf, the whole town would have burned down beyond a doubt, as no water could be got up from the mill. The flames leaped from house to house and in short time the work of destruction where the earthquake left off was completed by the fire fiend.

The fine residences of Mssrs. Ward, French and Place did not last long, and from there the fire spread threatening to go all over town.

Mr. Lendstrom’s place was burned out, also Uncle John Hill and Mrs. Madison lost three buildings with no insurance.

John Granskog’s saloon, also that of Nelson and Kaavala, Nick Rantala and Louis Petersen were quickly destroyed. William Johnson’s boarding house and also the stores of Chester A. Scott & Len Barnard were quickly fell victims to the flames. Mr. Barnard got most of his goods and is at present located in the building belonging to Mr. William Bumpus formerly used as a harness shop.

Arthur Lyman’s residence and the Post Office building owned by Eri Huggins did not last long.

The Pavilion, owned by Dr. McCornack, a fine large structure and occupied by George Smith as a furniture store made a great blaze. Mr. Smith saved most of the furniture but is out about $1500.00 on the fire.

Pete Rasmussen’s barber shop, Frank Bucholtz’s liquor store and Ed MacKerricher’s big store owned by Frank Bucholtz and the residence of J. A. White just built, the residence of Mrs. Johnson and the residence of Frank Bucholtz were quickly destroyed but little being from them. Frank Bucholtz’s bottling works was also destroyed, just rented and started up by Mr. Chapman and Mr. Pete Dixon.

George A. Johnson’s bakery was saved but not until the building sustained considerable damage.

Mr. Erickson’s new brick building went down with a crash, and the building Mr. Endberg was fitting up for a saloon, which he recently purchased from Frank Sandelin, did not last long to feed the hungry flames.

The White House Hotel, owned by Frank Sandelin, and one of the oldest landmarks in town, went up in smoke, as did also the small cottage and the small store of Isaac Kospie. The tailor shop of Itanen & Jyleya, the shoe store of Mr. Berkovits, the saloon and wholesale liquor houses of Mann & Kemppe and the small building occupied by the family of John Abramson, were also burned down.

Mrs. Reed’s brick building on Main Street was so badly damaged by the earthquake that it will have to be pulled down.

When the Odd Fellows building went down, Mr. Ward’s undertaking parlors were demolished, inflicting quite a heavy loss to him.

Red Men’s building is badly shook up, and the Pacific Drug Store underneath was wrecked. Dr. Sanborn, who has his offices in the building, also suffered damages to the extent of several hundred dollars.

The Union Lumber Company’s fine mill was damaged pretty bad, but men are clearing away the debris and it said to be hoped that the mill will be again in operation before many weeks pass by. The big [Corliss] engine was not damaged to speak of, but the north battery and the Salmon Creek battery [of boilers] in the fire room were nearly destroyed. The mill is knocked out of plumb in places and some of the timbers bulge out. The big smokestack at the mill went over, but will be replaced by a new one right away.

Mr. Stilling was on top of the boilers and fell with a lot of brick and had a narrow escape of being killed. Mr. Tiers also had a close call, making a hurried back exit. A portion of the tramway was knocked down. The wharf stood it well, but the boiler house out on the end was shaken up. Lumber was pretty well scattered, but little damage was done outside of this. The [mill’s] Machine Shop was not damaged.

Charlie E. Wright’s building is strained and somewhat twisted, but is in good condition compared to some of the rest.

The Fort Bragg Jewelry Store and the St. John-McCallum Jewelry Store were damaged but little. The last named lost some jewelry, which was stolen.

The small brick building on the south side of the Leiser Block, occupied by Sternberg & Andriani as a real estate office fell in, badly damaging some of the nice furnishings.

The south side of the Company’s Store has been braced with timbers to keep it from spreading.

The church buildings were not damaged to any great amount. In the Baptist Church the big chandelier came down. The Presbyterian and Catholic churches went through [the calamity] all right.

Frank Bucholtz lost heavily by the fire, fully $12,000. His big store, bottling works and residence were destroyed.

The firemen made a heroic stand at Charlie Dahl’s place on the corner of Redwood Avenue and Franklin Street, and finally saved the building, meaning that the whole of the town south of Redwood Avenue was saved. Charlie appreciated the service.

The Pudding Creek bridge moved about a foot and a half to the south by the earthquake.

H. A. Weller lost heavily. He is taking it good-naturedly however and is going ahead as if nothing ever happened.

The bank building is damaged much more that was thought at first.

Other Places — Mr. Duffy reports that the mill at Alpine is alright, but that the dam at the millpond was badly shaken up.

The mill at Glenblair sustained no damage to speak of by the earthquake.

The mill at Caspar was but slightly damaged by the earthquake and starts up this week, having a good supply of logs on hand.

W. H. Day was in from the Halfway House out on the Little Lake road on Saturday and says that earthquake gave them a good shaking up, but no damage.

Sam Rollinger came up from Albion Saturday. Sam says the planing mill there started up Saturday, and the mill [will do so] the first of the week, which was damaged but very little by the earthquake. The dry kilns were badly damaged but it is thought they can be saved.

At Albion the mill was damaged to such an extent that it had to shut down for repairs and the County bridge across the Albion River was damaged enough to be unsafe for travel.

At Mendocino the shock was severe, doing much damage, houses being moved on the foundations and general breakage of dishes, etc., following. The mill at that place came in with its share of loss and it will be several weeks before it runs. The flywheel on the engine was broken and the big brick smokestack, which was erected forty-two years ago, came down with a crash. The County bridge across Big River had an entire span drop out, the ferry boat service being brought back into service.

The mill at Hardy Creek was but slightly damaged by the earthquake. Some brick dropped out of the [foundation] work around the furnace, repairs being made in a few days.

The mill at Monroe got off lucky, not being damaged to any extent. Point Arena was damaged about $100,000. In addition to the wreckage of the brick buildings, the schoolhouse building and the Methodist Church burned down. The lighthouse was damaged to the extent of $25,000.

The mill at Greenwood is alright. The landing was damaged by some of the [wharf] spans going out.