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Cedar Keys, FL Hurricane, Oct 1896

Cedar Keys FLA 1896 Hurricane Damage.jpg

THE CYCLONE'S PATH IS MARKED BY DEATH AND DESTRUCTION.

OVER TWENTY TOWNS AND VILLAGES WRECKED AND FIFTY PERSONS KILLED.

PROBABLY TWICE THAT NUMBER RECEIVED MORE OR LESS SERIOUS WOUNDS -- THE PROPERTY LOSS WILL EXCEED $2,000,000 -- MEAGER REPORTS OBTAINED.

Atlanta, Ga., Oct. 1. -- A special from Jacksonville, Fla., to the Constitution says:
The West Indian hurricane which entered Florida at Cedar Keys Tuesday morning and swept through the southern part in a northeasterly direction left death and destruction in its path.
Owing to the prostration of telegraph wires and the delay of trains, due to washouts, only meager reports have been received, and yet, meager as those reports are, they show that over 20 towns and villages have been wrecked and that 40 or 50 persons have been killed, while probably three times as many more received wounds more or less serious.
About 4 o'clock in the morning the hurricane, which had been churning the gulf, left the water and swooped down upon Cedar Keys, a town of 1,500 inhabitants, about one hundred miles southeast of Jacksonville.
Thirty-six hours have elapsed since the storm struck Cedar Keys, but not one word has been received directly from that place as to the damage done or the number of lives lost. No trains have been able to reach there because the tracks are covered with heavy timber.
The only report from Cedar Keys comes by way of Gainesville, 50 miles northeast of the gulf town, and is to the effect that Cedar Keys has been swept away and many persons killed and wounded. This report reached Gainesville by courier from Williston which is 20 miles north of Cedar Keys. The report is hardly exaggerated, as Cedar Keys was directly in the path of the hurricane and received its full force as it leaped raging from the gulf.
After demolishing Cedar Keys the storm, moving in a southeasterly direction, struck Williston a village of 400 inhabitants. At that place 11 houses were wrecked, one person killed and 15 wounded some it is feared fatally.
Near Williston is a large turpentine farm on which many state convicts are employed. Twenty of these convicts were huddled in a cabin, across which the storm blew a great tree, crushing six on the inmates.
Leaving Levy County the hurricane dashed across Alachua, one of the most populous Counties in the state, where a number of persons were killed and many more severely injured.
At Fort White, in Columbia County, it is said that six persons were killed, but the reports have not been confirmed. From Columbia County the hurricane dashed across Duvall, its edge striking Jacksonville but doing little damage and causing no loss of life. In Nausau County however, just north of Jacksonville, the hurricane seemed to gather additional force and did awful work. At. Boulogne, the schoolhouse in which there were over 30 children, was wrecked and five children killed.

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article | by Dr. Radut