1868 Earthquake

Unfinished History

1868 Earthquake Damage to Coffey-Risdon Bldg. northwest corner Bush & Market wnp26.648.jpg

1868 earthquake damage to Coffey-Risdon Building on the northwest corner of Bush and Market Streets.

Photo: OpenSFHistory.org wnp26.648

Ruins of 1868 earthquake Graves Collection I0012565A.jpg

San Francisco ruins, 1868 earthquake.

Photo: Online Archive of California, Roy D. Graves Collection I0012565A

1868 earthquake AAC-2556.jpg

1868 earthquake damage.

Photo: San Francisco History Center, SF Public Library AAC-2556

After-1868-earthquake via-Mike-Caswell-FB.jpg

Buildings damaged in San Francisco by 1868 Hayward quake.

Photo: via Mike Caswell, Facebook, originally by C.E. Watkins

Effects of the Earthquake, Oct. 21, 1868, Railroad House, Clay St, from Robert N.jpg

Original Watkins stereoscopic view, Oct. 21, 1868.

courtesy Robert N. Dennis collection, wikimedia commons

On October 21, 1868 an earthquake hit the Hayward fault in the East Bay, estimated at 6.3-6.7 magnitude. It's the last known large quake on the Hayward fault as of June 2020. It was known as the Great Earthquake of San Francisco until the 1906 quake and fire took the title.


Damage on California Street

1868 SF quake IMG 1446058323794.jpg

According to Wikipedia:

The town of Hayward experienced the most damage, with nearly every building destroyed or significantly damaged in the earthquake. The Alameda County Courthouse in San Leandro was destroyed, which resulted in the re-location of the County Seat to Oakland, its current site. The adobe chapel of Mission San José in what is now Fremont was also destroyed, as were several buildings in San Jose, San Francisco and throughout Alameda County. Damage was reported from Santa Rosa in the north to Gilroy and Santa Cruz in the south. Thirty deaths were attributed to the earthquake.