Portland, OR (Vicinity) Severe Storms, Jan 1880



San Francisco, Jan. 14. -- Telegraphic communication with Portland, Oregon, which has been interrupted for a week, was restored yesterday. Dispatches state that on Jan. 9, during the middle of the day, Portland was visited by the most severe storm known since the settlement of the country. The direction of the wind at the beginning of the storm, was south-west but later it veered to south. Little rain accompanied the gale, though heavy clouds rolled overhead during its entire progress. The damage to property in the city will not fall short of $75,000. The steeple of the First Presbyterian Church was prostrated, seven small houses were blown down, many roofs were torn off, including the roof of the courthouse, and a portion of the Newmarket Theatre, and signs and awnings were scattered broadcast. The Willamette River is rougher that it was ever known to be before. Little damage resulted to the boats and shipping. While the gale was at its height, Bremen Hall, a large two-story wooden building, was prostrated and four men were caught under the ruins. JACK O'DONNELL sustained very severe injuries, and HARVEY P. HEINRICH was instantly killed. In East Portland the new Catholic Church was prostrated and reduced to a complete wreck. Several buildings were blown down or unroofed.
Reports from the interior indicate that the storm raged with great viloence. It is not possible to estimate the value of the property destroyed, but it will certainly be great, and the obstruction of roads, in many places, will, for a time stagnate business. Owing to the falling timber and the damage to the railroad bridges the trains will be delayed for several days. The telegraph wires between Portland and the Dalles are buried under fallen timber so deep that new lines will have to be constructed. At Umatilla much damage was done. The gale attained, for a short time, the velocity of 80 miles per hour. Several houses were blown down. So far as known, there has been little loss of life from the storm. Great numbers of cattle are reported to have been killed by falling barns and trees. Two men, named MASON and HANDLE, were frozen to death on Saturday night near Young Station, on the Northern Pacific Railroad. At Tacenter, Washington Territory, a tree was blown against a school-house demolishing it. Twenty children were in the building, and the son and daughter of JOHN W. BARTLETT were instantly killed, and another daughter was dangerously injured. There was no damage done to the shipping at Astoria or at Vancouver. Several houses were prostrated at Garrison, but no lives were lost. Much damage was done at Salem. A portion of the roof of the State House was torn off, as was also the roof of the Academy of the Sacred Heart.

New York Times New York 1880-01-15