1906 San Francisco Earthquake And Fire

Kathryn D. sent me the following message concerning a new book coming out from the The California Genealogical Society

100 Years Later: Long-Lost Letters Give a Fresh Look at the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake And Fire
The California Genealogical Society announces a new book published to coincide with the earthquake’s centennial year. Dorothy Fowler’s work, A Most Dreadful Earthquake: A First-Hand Account of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire presents the vivid personal letters of a young San Francisco woman to her sweetheart in Schenectady.

The ribbon-bound packet of forty faded letters, written between February and July 1906, turned up in the archives of California Genealogical Society in 1998, with little to identify the writers or to explain how the letters came to the society. Now, 100 years after the earthquake, Dorothy Fowler details the painstaking search to learn more about Sarah Phillips and the Mr. Jones she planned to marry.

Sarah’s account begins dramatically in the early hours of April 18, 1906, when “we were awaked by a most dreadful earthquake.” Through the letters, Fowler follows Sarah and three other correspondents as the events of that hectic spring and summer unfold, providing a unique insight for 21st century readers.

DOROTHY FOWLER is a researcher and volunteer at the California Genealogical Society. She happened to be on hand when the packet of forty letters was discovered, and her immediate perception was that there must be quite a story to be found in them. Soon she found herself immersed in what she calls “the little project that grew.” Using standard genealogical methods, Fowler was able to identify the parties involved and uncover a fascinating link to America’s recent past.

A Most Dreadful Earthquake, A First-Hand Account of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire
$15.00 paperback
ISBN: 0-9672409-7-2
190 pages
January 2006

As we are coming up on the 100th anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, many of you who have genealogy research that deals with this event (and it was a major event, and has probably caused more than a few brick walls) maybe interested in this, or even just joining the California Genealogical Society.

Leave a Comment