previous next

[153] greatest destruction. It extended across the Mystic River, and entered Medford with unabated force, and continued to the end of its track. The tornado carried up into the air, men, animals and other objects, unroofed and destroyed houses, twisted trees, shifted houses around, throwing half of the roof of a house in one direction and the other half in the opposite. A railroad car at Medford was rolled along the track 160 feet, and then taken and carried sixty feet from the track. In regard to its power, ‘They who, like us,’ says Rev. C. Brooks, ‘were in it, and have seen its terrible ravages, need not be told that it exhibited a power in the elements never witnessed by the oldest inhabitant of this region. Houses strongly built were demolished as if they had been made of paper, oak and walnut and cedar trees of the largest growth were entirely uprooted, some of them snatched out of the ground and carried through long distances, roofs of buildings taken up as if by sudden suction, and carried into the embrace of the cloud and transported for miles. Its action upon the grass and corn was remarkable. It not only prostrated them, but partly buried them in the earth. The fields in this respect looked as if a heavy roller had passed over them.’ Various individuals were more or less injured in body—seven are specified, all belonging to Medford. One (Thomas Huffmaster) lost his life, while occupied in closing his house against the storm; he was taken up insensible and died in about thirty hours. In Waltham the house of the high-school master had the windows broken on one side, and the supper which was on the table thrown into an opposite corner of the room. Here a man was lifted up and set down fifty yards off without particular injury. A woman was lifted by the wind in a like manner at Medford.

In West Cambridge stood a house whose roof on the north side was thrown into the house, while the roof on the south side and the back building south of the house were completely blown away. In another place two houses were left uninjured, and one between them was carried away. In the most northerly of the two remaining houses, a board one foot broad and one inch thick was driven through the wall, which was of boards, double, with an air space between. In the same room (Henry Whittemore's) a glass door was pierced with a circular hole little over an inch in diameter, probably done by a pebble., which pierced a white cloth curtain hung on the door, and the edges of the hole in the glass appeared melted into roundness by the blow. A granite gate post, seven feet high and one and a quarter feet square, planted three feet in the ground, and standing between the destroyed house and one of those uninjured, was struck by the vortex of the storm and bent about four inches out of position.

A parallel storm occurred at Woburn on the same afternoon of the West Cambridge tornado, but smaller and less destructive.—See Storms , by William Blasius, Phila.

In relation to the damages and losses by the tornado in West Cambridge, as per report on appraisement, we have only room for the names and amounts, viz.: James Brown, $805; Stephen Fogg (tenant of Brown), $250; George A. Locke, $160; Josiah L. Frost, $320;

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
James Brown (2)
Horace Wilson (1)
Henry Whittemore (1)
Phila (1)
George A. Locke (1)
Thomas Huffmaster (1)
Josiah L. Frost (1)
Stephen Fogg (1)
Charles Brooks (1)
William Blasius (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: