One of my favorite places to visit is Charleston, SC. I love to walk down the old brick streets and admire the the Antebellum homes. One thing always stands out as I walk down the streets and that's the earthquake bolts they used to secure damaged buildings.
|Picture of an earthquake bolt I took on one of Charleston's buildings.|
Buildings crumbled and fell into the streets, leaving some streets impassible. The devastation was immeasurable. Very few buildings escaped damage or complete destruction. The buildings that were were salvageable were repaired using long rods for reinforcement. The rods were run through the walls then secured with a washer (known as a gib plate) and a iron nut. The earthquake bolts weren't something many of the affluent home owners wanted adorning the their homes. To disguise the bolt ends, cast iron decorations from stars to lion heads were made to cover the ends and adorn the buildings.
Right before the quake struck witness told of a roaring sound like that of a train that barreled toward them. The ground shook and people ran from their homes and into the streets and parks. Some over-zealous men preached in the parks and streets warning that God's wrath was upon them and demanded repentance as wave after wave of quakes rolled through.
Gas lines and water lines were broke from the twisting of the earth. Fires broke out and spread quickly through the damaged buildings and the broken waterlines made fighting the fires a lost cause. Wires were cut and railroad tracks were twisted and torn apart separating Charleston from the outside world.
As people gathered in the city squares, many of them sang songs to bring calm to the crowds. When the initial quake was over the homes weren't safe to sleep in so they slept in the parks. As the days went by and the aftershocks continued word got out to the rest of the world. Tents were sent in for the homeless Charlestonians.
Over 300 aftershocks would hit Charleston over the next 3 years. The toll that the earthquake took didn't stop with the buildings. Over 60 people died and the health of many people were affected by the quakes. Today we know some of those aliments as PTSD. People suffered from nausea, headaches, one woman lost her hair, some went crazy. There were even reports where three woman were frightened to death.
Charleston is a resilient city. They proved that with the rebuidling of the city after the Civil War. They rebuilt their city after the earthquake in just a few short years. Many had to rebuild their lives as well. But Charleston would never be the same, it would always carry the scares of August 31st, 1886. Those scars are cold earthquake bolts. You can see them in the picture I took below.
A few other tidbits of information:
It is thought that earthquake was a 7.6 in magnitude.
An estimated 14,000 chimneys fell from the quake.
Almost every building was severally damaged.
Structural damage was reported as far away as Alabama, central Ohio, eastern Kentucky, southern Virginia, and western West Virginia.
It was said that 2 out of every 3 people in the country felt the quake! (Keep in mind the east was where the largest population was...but still...)
The total damage was in excess of 5.5 million dollars (112 million in today's market)
Have you ever been in an earthquake?
What information above did you find the most surprising?
Why would you like to read Shattered Memories?
To celebrate my new release, I'm giving away your choice of a signed copy of Shattered Memories or my debut Sword of Forgiveness. Be sure to answer one of the questions above and leave your email address to be entered. For extra entries share this post on FB and/or Twitter and let me know you shared. Giveaway ends February 10th.
Olivia Macqueen wakes in a makeshift hospital, recovering from a head injury. With amnesia stealing a year of her memories, she has trouble discerning between lies and truth. When her memories start returning in bits and pieces, she must keep up the charade of amnesia until she can find out the truth behind the embezzlement of her family’s business while evading the danger lurking around her. Doctor Drew Warwick frantically searches through the rubble left by the Charleston earthquake for the lady who owns his heart. He finds her injured and lifeless. When she regains consciousness, the doctor’s hopes are dashed as he realizes she doesn’t remember him. But things only get worse after he discovers she believes she’s still engaged to the abusive scoundrel, Lloyd Pratt. Now Drew is on a race with the wedding clock to either help her remember or win her heart again before she marries the wrong man.
Debbie Lynne Costello has enjoyed writing stories since she was eight years old. She raised her family and then embarked on her own career of writing the stories that had been begging to be told. She and her husband have four children and live in upstate South Carolina. She has worked in many capacities in her church and is currently the Children’s director. Debbie Lynne has shown and raised Shetland sheepdogs for eighteen years and still enjoys litters now and then. In their spare time, She and her husband enjoy camping and riding their Arabian and Tennessee Walking horses. Visit Debbie Lynne at
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