Wednesday, September 8, 2010

110 Years Ago Today - Galveston Hurricane - September 8, 1900

Galveston before Hurricane - 1900

Galveston, Texas - September 9, 1900

It was 110 years ago today my country's worst natural disasters occurred. It took place in Galveston, Texas and was known as the Galveston Hurricane of 1900. Estimates of the cost of life was astronomical... 6,000, 10,000 and 12,000 have all been figures quoted throughout the years.

My great-grandparents, Rosa and Rosario, were living in the small town of Dickinson, Texas not far from the shores of Galveston. Rosa's brother and family lived in the Galveston area. Surrounding towns were either totally devastated and wiped off the map or suffered terrible damage and loss of life.

Rosario and Rosa DePaquale

The family story is that during this terrible storm my great-grandmother, Rosa, who was pregnant with my grandfather, crawled on her stomach from one building to another managing to carry a lamp with her. Debris was flying everywhere and rain was coming down in torrents. She reached her destination and discovered that she had been battered badly by flying tree branches, parts to buildings and other flying objects. Her face was cut and bruised. The lantern she carried was dented. Today I have the lantern she carried. The lamp is packed away do to my fairly recent remodel but below is a picture I posted over a year ago. I do prefer to keep it displayed because it reminds me of my great-grandmother's courage.

The dented lamp from the storm

Naturally through the years stories of the hurricane were shared by family and friends. My great-grandmother's brother went into real estate and was part of the mass project of rebuilding.

My grandfather became a civil engineer, earning his master's degree from Cornell University. He returned to Galveston County and helped with the expansion of the seawall on Galveston beach. On our family's last trip there we searched for as many of the plaques honoring the men who were part of that project. We felt so proud to see my grandfather's name on all of the plaques.

My cousin with one of the plaques.

One of seven plaques along the Galveston

If you look on the right column of the plaque you will see
D.V. DePasquale's name.

If you want to read more about this very devastating hurricane you can see actual footage of the disaster on these YouTube videos:
Galveston Waterfront
Galveston, 1900 - After the Storm

I am linking to My Romantic Home
for Show and Tell Friday


Lisa said...

What a remarkable story! I can't imagine the terror your great grandmother must have felt and how much courage it took just to survive.

Celestial Charms said...

Karen, this was such an interesting post. I'm so glad you hold these memroies so close to your heart. Our relative's stories need to be told. There are always life lessons to be gained by their retelling. I hope there are others in your family that feel the same way...such as your cousin that was in the photo. Thanks for sharing their story with us. Hope to hear many more.

Julie Harward said...

What good and great people! She was a strong woman and he a honorable can be so proud of them! Thanks for sharing a true bit of family history :D

Theresa said...

WOW, what a story! I can't wait to read more! Happy they were safe! I know they shared the story many times!

Have a blessed day! HUGS!

Francie of The Scented Cottage said...

I saw a documentary on was very moving, there were many heartfelt and sad stories. I'm glad your greatgrandmother's ended well. What a wonderful treasure you have to go with the history. Thanks for sharing it with us.
My mother's heritage is Italian and grandmothers name was Rosa too.

Anonymous said...

That IS a remarkable story. Your great-grandmother was courageous (as you said) and determined to save her baby. I've seen stories of this on the Weather Channel. It was horrible. What a difference advanced warning makes. We used to live in a small town in Texas when i was a little girl and we visited Galveston. What fascinating history. Good for your ancestors!

A Vintage Chic said...

Oh, Karen...thank-you for sharing this story...especially of your great-grandmother's courage! So glad that you have that lantern--what a keepsake!

Hope you're having a wonderful day!


Jennifer said...

That lantern is so neat!

We have the rifle that John's great great great grandfather carried on the covered wagon headed west. Love those family treasures.

Donna @ The House on the Corner said...

Oh Karen - I have a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. Galveston is such a special place to me as I know it is for you. You and I have spoken before about this special place and your so personnal connection to it's history leaves me speechless. The fact that you are here is a testament to your ggrandmother's courage and determination and speak volumnes on how important each of our lives are and how we are a bridge from one generation to the next.

Anonymous said...

Oh, the picture of the lamp! I love it. Is De Pasquale Italian or Portuguese? The only reason I ask is because my DH's grandmother and great-grandparents were Portuguese (Gonsalves).

From the Kitchen said...

Karen, thank you for sharing your family memories of that terrible storm. I had no idea of the magnitude of devastation until I read "Isaac's Storm". It gave me the incentive to look into it further. We actually listened to it on tape as we drove to our son's wedding on the east coast. We took several "breaks" to listen to the news news because Katrina was raging toward New Orleans at the time.


Nancy's Notes said...

Oh Karen, what an incredible post and so inspirational! Your great-grandmother was a remarkable and courageous woman and oh my goodness, how wonderful to have that lantern in your possession. What a treasure!


Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

What a proud history you have! I would be proud too! I have heard of that hurricane and seen footage of it. Nature is a formidable foe and we have not seen the last of the devastating hurricanes. My brother lives with his wife in Corpus Cristy and it always concerns me every time I hear of hurricanes.
I happened by chance upon the hearings when a group of men after studying New Orleans, went to Washington and tried to make them see how important it was to put in a sea wall there. I listened to the proceedings...and they almost begged them to have it done. They didn't.
Thank you for sharing your wonderful story of your Great Grandmother. And the lamp. I hope you always display it in your home. What a wonderful thing to have!