Earle Talbot letter re: 1906 Earthquake, 1906-04-25

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April 25th, 1906 Thursday

I don't know just what you have heard from me, nor when the messages arrived, but I sent telegrams from here before leaving, to 2042 and Stoneleigh Court, and also on Friday afternoon from the city, one on Saturday, and one by a fellow to send from some point on the R.R. on Tuesday - Also wrote two letters from 1819 on Monday - one to 2042 and one to Washington.

They were sending boxes of telegrams to Los Angeles from the Ferry to relieve the congestion there were over 40,000, I've been told, for the East.

Since you must have been worried fearfully I hope you received some word early. No doubt the papers gave pretty accurate accounts of the situation, for exaggeration of the conditions would have been difficult - This could easily become a book if I started in to tell all the happenings so

Last edit over 1 year ago by Marian
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please forgive the jottings - as they seem.

We had our share of the shake here at 515 a.m. -- an unusually steady shake lasting 30 seconds at least, just hard enough to wake us up -- thought nothing of it of course.

About eight o'clock I had to go to the saw mill in Angels -- and the Sup't then told that the telephone manager had been talking to Martinez -- who reported a fearful shock -- and the starting of fire in many places in the city and Oakland -- and no water. He started to tell about the loss of life when the line gave out, and that was the last direct word that came to us.

It was absolutely impossible to get word by any kind of wire or wireless from any point west of Stockton, which frightened us more than the reports, for it surely indicated a bad state of affairs. Indirect word came in; yellow it was too, of 30,000 dead and wounded -- and it was confirmed later. Fire reports grew. And so it was all that day. The hardest thing in the world to run the crew and the work all the long hours until supper. No better news at

Last edit over 1 year ago by Siobhan
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Headquarters, so there was nothing to do but send some sort of cheering word and get ready to hike in the early morning. Four of us went down -- and it was a trip like a nightmare -- always going but never getting anywhere. The train was crowded with anxious people, and at Stockton the excitement was near hysteria, and the reports by papers the most discouraging. "Impossible to get into the city except by permit from Funston" -- "Fire north of Market west to Buchanan and still burning" -- "San Jose a ruin" -- "Stanford University wrecked" -- and the train was slow, late and the day very hot.

I decided to try to get in by way of San Jose for the country was wide and no water to cross, and it would take more patrol than they could spare to keep the front closed by night. The rest went via Oakland-- The train arrived at San Jose in the end, about 4:30! and queer tilts on wooden houses, and the absence of visible chimneys told part of

Last edit 2 months ago by Guest User
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the story in advance as we neared town. There was no schedule of trains toward S. Fr. - a train had just left, and one might go in an hour or so but probably it would not get further than San Bruno. A train of old cars rolled in, and the many people at the depot rushed forward to look for kinfolk among the refugees - A rather "good-appearing" crowd - middle class - all with the same blank look of having seen something that hung still before them - we all had it in turn. Girls carrying the Easter hat and a pillow slip full of things, men with some sort of satchel or basket - hundreds of them - Men were hurried into corners and each had his audience while the horrid tale was told - I listened to several, and then had the discouragement propre for a while - All said the fire was at or beyond Octavia - that one could not get into the city, and "why in God's name do you want to go there?" Well, I figured that the fire could not get out to tenth avenue any way possible, that 1819 was gone, and all the rest, and that it would be useless to try to get from San Bruno to 270 that night - So I went uptown to the Mayor's office, which was in the park by the city hall, and

Last edit over 1 year ago by Marian
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Good cause appearing therefor, permission is hereby given to {handwritten name : "Earle Talbot"} TO PASS THROUGH THE LINES OF THE PATROL now maintained and made neces sary for police and fire protection.

San Jose, April 18, 1906 {handwritten signature: "Geo D Worswick"} Mayor or ____________________________Chief of Police

[logo or mark]

{handwritten text and signature: "Officers of San Francisco Cal Please Pass the bearer through your lines he is in search of relatives.

April 19th 1906 G D Worswick Mayor"}

Last edit over 1 year ago by Don Pedicini Jr.
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