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The 1906 earthquake shook San Francisco at 5:12 a.m. on April 18th.  Approximately 3,000 people died due to the falling buildings and subsequent fires that followed.

At that time, the Whittells were living at their Nob Hill home, 1155 California Street.  24 year old George Whittell Jr. and his father George Sr., escaped their home in a wild ride through the devastated city with family heirlooms stashed in the Whittell’s large touring car according to the San Francisco Call.  George Jr.’s love of driving certainly came in handy with their trip through the burning wreckage of San Francisco as they made their way to catch the ferry to Oakland. 

Read the full article here:  



Title: California Street Hill. [Nob Hill ruins.] Date:1906  Photo Courtesy of UC Berkeley,Bancroft Library 


Contributing Institution: UC Berkeley, Bancroft Library

Whittell Building after the earthquake and fire.

Courtesy of UC Berkeley, Bancroft Library


Title: [Ruins of Union Square vicinity.]


Contributing Institution: UC Berkeley, Bancroft Library

Some great links to learn more about the 1906 San Francisco earthquake:

The Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco:  http://www.sfmuseum.org/1906/06.html

The USGS site about the earthquake:  http://earthquake.usgs.gov/regional/nca/1906/18april/index.php

The Online Archive of California Guide to the 1906 Earthquake and Fire Digital Collection: