Cherry Hill, NJ area Tornado, Jul 1895

Hackensack NJ Tornado Damage


Swept Destructively Over New Jersey, Harlem and Long Island


Many Casualties in the Wake of the Storm – Three Lives Lost in Cherry Hill, N. J., and One in Woodhaven, L. I. -- Long Island and Hudson River Towns in the Path of the Cyclone.

A tornado that, it seems, originated in New Jersey, east of Trenton, passed over the upper part of New York City at 4 p. m., swept over Long Island, passing through the town of Woodhaven, and then went out into the sea via Jamaica Bay. It carried death and destruction in its path. The first fatal result of the terrific windstorm was the almost total destruction of the town of Cherry Hill, near Hackensack, N. J. Three persons were killed there, and the homes of twenty families blown into kindling wood. At Asbury Park, Long Branch and other seaside resorts the effects of the storm were disastrous. In the Harlem part of New York City no fatalities occurred. The air was black and thick. Hailstones as large as walnuts fell, smashing many panes of glass, and the wind blew away awnings and signs. Bicyclists were blown from their machines; and a panic prevailed among the women. Horses took to flight, and trees that had stood for years were uprooted by the blast. The tornado visited Long Island, scattering destruction in many places, but worst of all at Woodhaven, where fifty houses were demolished. One woman was killed and twenty persons were injured. The force of the wind then passed out to sea, and its last manifestation was a waterspout in Jamaica Bay. About twenty minutes elapsed from the time when the tornado made its appearance until it went out to sea.
The tornado first visited Cherry Hill, N. J., a small village two miles north of Hackensack, and it was almost completely obliterated. Not an entire building remained standing after the storm had spent its fury. At this place three persons were killed and twenty badly hurt by flying timbers, crashing houses or uprooted trees. The wind currents were violent enough to raise huge houses and carry them some distance. One man was drawn through a window and hurled to the ground, and the railroad station, with the agent in it, was moved one hundred feet up the track. Its inmate was uninjured. Many aver that the cloud was funnel shaped; others add interesting variations in the way of red spots flickering like jack o'lanterns in the centre of it. Still others say that it was a simple blow, and that there was nothing cyclonic about it. However it was, the result is the same. The killed in Cherry Hill were BABY AHRONS, eight months old, torn from its mother's arms and found dead in the road; killed by the hail and the flying debris of wrecked buildings. CONRAD FRIEDMAN, hotel keeper, drawn by the wind from a second story window, he fell on his head, fracturing his skull and died almost instantly. ANTON BOLESKI, employed as a hostler by AUGUST MUND, crushed to death when the barn in which he was at work collapsed. The most seriously injured are: EUGENE CHINOOK, skull fractured and otherwise injured; CHARLES COLE, of Paterson, N. J., severely wounded on the head, and eyes so badly hurt by hail that he will probably lose the sight of one eye. WILLIAM ELY, Squire of the village, several ribs fractured. ANTONIO HOSFMAN, several ribs fractured and internally injured. WILLIAM SUTTLE, nose, arm and one leg broken and injured internally. ANDREW SANTEL one arm, leg and nose broken. Between forty and fifty thousand persons visited the scene of the ruin and devastation at Cherry Hill on the day after the storm. Some of the unfortunate people whose homes were wrecked sat around during the day wondering what was in store for them. Nearly every visitor contributed toward the relief fund and several thousand dollars were raised. Hackensack and the other towns responded promptly to the call for aid. At Cherry Hill the REV. A> DURYEA, pastor of the Reformed Church, conducted services in the lot back of the damaged church. He used the ruins of the rear porch as the pulpit platform. Three thousand people were present. The choir was seated under an apple tree. An organ had been obtained and a young lady played it.

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