Hagerstown, MD (vicinity) Thunder Storm, May 1834
On Sunday evening last our city was visited with one of the most terrific thunder storms every known in this section of the country. For several weeks previous the weather had been dry and very warm, and even on Sunday morning, the heavens manifested no symptoms of a change. About 3 o'clock P.M. however, a strong south-westerly wind arose; in an hour after two huge masses of clouds from the west and south-west were seen advancing. They rushed on rapidly and over the very bosom of our city, they met and mingled into one, and spread out like a pall over us. The war of elements then commenced, and, fierce and fiery it was too. For the space of fifteen minutes the whole atmosphere appeared to be alive with electricity, whilst the thunder rattled over our heads like a park of heavy artilery. Several bolts fell upon the city, in various and distant sections of the town.
The fluid shivered a tree in West, and ran down and bent a lightning rod in East Patrick street It also passed down a rod in East Church street and likewise struck the steeple of the German Reformed Church situated in the west end of said street. This was the only object within the Town which sustained injury with the exception of the tree above alluded to.
The lightning seems first to have alighted upon the rod of the steeple, and passing down to the roof of the cupola, it tore off a portion of the shingling and split one of the pillars which upholds it -- from thence it glanced off without further serious damage. The children of the Congregation were assembled in the church attending Sunday School and sensibly felt the shock. The whole interior of the church at the moment is stated to have been luminous with the effects of the fluid. The storm rolled on over the city in a direction nearly due east with unabated fury, and struck a barn upon the farm of MR. CASPER MANTZ, about a quarter of a mile from town which it set fire to and consumed. In addition to these, several other barns and trees were struck in the vicinity, but without material damage. We have heard of twelve spots enumerated which felt the fatal shaft.
Yorkville, May 13. -- During the storm on Sunday night last, a gentleman by the name of ANDREW LORITZ, and his negro man, were killed by the falling of a tree. THey had been to Columbia, and had camped with their wagon about six miles below this place -- early in the night the storm arose and MR. LORITZ and his servant together with a small boy who was in company, took shelter in the wagon from violence of the rain and wind. It so happened that a tree stood near to the wagon -- the boy became alarmed and told them they had better leave the wagon and commenced himself to leave it -- the words had hardly escaped from his lips until the tree twisted off by the furious wind, and killed at his feet the companions of his journey. Both were horribly mangled and bruised. MR. L. was from Lincoln county, (N.C.) and we understand was a gentleman of responsibility.
The Mail Hagers Town Maryland 1834-06-06