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