Sunday, June 26, 2011

1872 Lone Pine Earthquake

1872 Lone Pine Earthquake

For those of us who’ve commuted the ‘Three Flags Highway’ over the Cajon Pass to Mammoth and parts north on any kind of a regular basis, this is a familiar, though subliminal spot along the way as the driver has long settled in for a multi-hour nonstop stretch at the wheel.  Near the state landmark sign point to the location of the 1872 earthquake marker there’s a sign noting the cross street of Pangborne Ln., and the mind of the northbound traveler asks ‘didn’t we cross this road back in the Cajon Pass?’ ‘No, wait, it was Cleghorn Rd;’ ‘Cleghorn, Pangborne, Pangborne, Cleghorn……maybe we should take a break in Independence’. Ironically, Cleghorn Rd. is the off ramp from I-15 that is the route to what became to this contributor the most difficult to find of 911 landmarks visited, the Stoddard - Waite Monument.

Richter scale estimates for this earthquake range from between 7.4 to 9.5 depending on who’s talking, but whatever its intensity, they felt it in Salt Lake City, and it was enough to knock down most stone and adobe structures in the sparsely inhabited area. It came early on a cold March morning with everyone inside. Reconstruction was with wood.

The photo shows the remains of the general store and home of Charles and Madeline Meysan. The quake claimed the life of Alice, one of their ten children.

Plaque inscription: NO. 507 Disaster in 1872
On the date of March 26, 1872, an earthquake of major proportions shook Owens Valley and nearly destroyed the town of Lone Pine. Twenty seven persons were killed. In addition to single burials, 16 of the victims were interred in a common grave enclosed by this fence.
200 ft W of Hwy 395 (PM 58.7), 0.9 mi N of Lone Pine.
Google: 36.618352,-118.068738

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