The Great Shake: San Francisco 1906 1906

t rained on Saturday night, the twenty-first of April, and the next morning the air was clear except for steam rising from the damp, hot ruins. Block after block was empty except for charred, black ruins—a wall here, a doorway there. Nothing was recognizable. There were no familiar landmarks to navigate by. What buildings were still standing were burned-out stone husks. San Francisco, as it had been, no longer existed. One traveler wrote:

of a big city, intensified by traffic over the cobbles of Market Street, the strident cries of newsboys, the clanging of car bells. All of these are silent; the noises are those of a village—the wagons, carts, and men on horseback, screened against a ghastly background."
Click here for a larger image of the ruins.



Faultline © 1999, Exploratorium