Lone Pine, CA, Earthquake, Mar 1872

Lone Pine CALIF Fault line today.jpg Lone Pine CALIF  Diaz Lake was formed by the quake.jpg Lone Pine CALIF  Memorial Grave.jpg


Much damage was done by earthquake shocks in California and Nevada on the 26th. Camp Independence, California, was completely ruined; the court house was destroyed, and there was not a single adobe or brick building standing from Bishop Creek to Independence. MRS. WEST, residing near Independence, was severely injured. Her child was killed. Stage passengers report that several fissures, miles in length and fifty to two hundred feet wide and twenty feet deep, opened along the eastern base of the Sierra Nevada. Near Big Pine Camp, and at other places in the vicinity, the ground was heaved up in great ridges. Large springs had stopped running, and others had broken out. Heavy snow-slides occurred in the Sierra, and large rocks rolled down the mountain sides, blocking up the stage road. The shocks lasted an interval from 2:20 to 6:30 a.m.
Advices received at San Francisco from the volcanic country north of the Majave River, show that the earthquake on the 26th was felt with terrific force there. At Lone Pine twenty-three people were killed, and thirty wounded. Shocks were felt for thirty hours. Fifty houses were demolished, and the town is in ruins.

Sterling Standard Illinois 1872-04-04

Transcriber's Note: This earthquake had an estimated reading of 7.8 to 8.0 on the now used Richter scale. This would be equal to the Great San Francisco Earthquake. At least 27 people died in Lone Pine.



San Francisco, March 30. -- Dispatches from volcanic districts in Iayo County, four hundred miles southeast from San Francisco, gives additional details of the earthquake disaster of Tuesday last. The shocks continue, though decreased in violence. It is remarkable that only the single slight shock of Tuesday was felt in central and southern California. Cerro Gordo was heavily damaged, and some buildings were thrown down, but only one man was killed. Lone Pine appears to have been directly over the center of the disturbance. The first shock is described as like a park of artillery fired directly beneath the town. The scene beggars description. Screams and groans rent the air in all directions. Nearly the whole populace was buried beneath its ruins. Cries for help and screams of pain from the wounded filled the air, while from the ruins, those who escaped were calling for help. The first shock was followed in quick succession by three others. Over three hundred distinct shocks were felt between 2:30 o'clock and sunrise. In fact the earth was in a constant shake and tremble for over three hours. A chasm was opened extending 85 miles down the valley, and ranging from three inches to forty feet in width. Rocks were torn from their places and rolled down into the valley. Everywhere through the valley are seen evidences of the terrible convulsions of nature.

Continued on Page 2.