The History of the 1886 Earthquake

The History of the 1886 Earthquake

Charleston is known to be one of the most historic cities in the nation. With the city overflowing with natural beauty and mystery, it comes to no surprise that one might want to learn more about it. With many stories to tell, one of the most rocking and shocking events to happen in Charleston was the 1866 earthquake.

On August 31, 1866, Charleston experienced the biggest shake of all time. It is known to be the biggest earthquake in the southeastern United States. While the earthquake affected several cities as northern as Wisconsin and as southern as Cuba, it was Charleston that really suffered the most from the quake. Close to 100 people were found dead and countless buildings were severely damaged here in Charleston.

A few days prior to the earthquake, foreshocks were felt in a town north of Charleston called Summerville. While this was absolutely frightening, nobody was prepared for what would take place next. The earthquake rumbled throughout Charleston and really took a toll on the entire city. Chimneys collapsed, many fires ignited and water lines and wells were fractured. While the physical destruction was a tough beat, there was a bigger price to be paid. It took 5.5 million dollars to rebuild and restore the corrupted buildings of the city, which today would have cost 112 million dollars.

Although the earthquake didn’t cause any cracks to erupt within the actual piece of land itself, it still caused some dilemmas to the land. Railroad tracks were found bent in certain areas and some sectors of land were condensed. Fortunately, an earthquake this size is extremely unlikely to occur again in this region. It is very unusual for such a strong and devastating earthquake like the one in 1866 to transpire in any seismic location.

If you would like to learn more about additional historic events that took place in Charleston, come along one of Charleston Harbor Tours historic cruises or hop on an Adventure Sightseeing bus tour. Contact us through our website or call us at 843-722-1112 today!

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