THE MARCH 1933 LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA EARTHQUAKE

On March 10, 1933 a magnitude 6.3 earthquake occurred just off the coast of southern California. A combination of poor soils, fills and sub-standard construction made this one of the costliest earthquakes in the history of California. The most severe damage occurred to structures in Long Beach and Southern Los Angeles.

Below are photographs of damage in and around the Long Beach and Los Angeles areas. Photo credits and sources are unknown. The captions were taken from notations on the back of the photographs. They were found among the James B. Macelwane, S.J. archives.



On August 8, 2006, Linda Adams wrote of her great-grandfather's furniture store that was damaged in the quake:

My great-grandfather's name was Wade Baker Hampton (1879-1968), and the photos came down to me through his daughter Della "Dick" Hampton Patterson. She was married to Jack Patterson.

In some family history notes, Jack Patterson writes about the earthquake and the store: "He [Wade] owned a carpet cleaning business with his brother in Long Beach, California, before opening a furniture store in Santa Ana, California. During the earthquake of 1933, the building housing this store was completely demolished, and he opened up a used furniture store in Laguna Beach."

The store was called Hampton's New & Used Furniture and was located at 325 East 4th Street, Santa Ana, CA. I actually have some letterhead with the store name and address on it.

Dick Patterson recorded the following information on the back of the photos:


Colleen Callahan Sisler wrote:

I was looking through some old pictures that my mother packaged up for me and ran across 24 pictures of buildings after the 1933 earthquake in Long Beach. I did a search online and found this website and the Macelwane pictures. If you would like to add more pictures to your online collection, I could scan them for you and send them along. I know my grandfather, John J. Callahan, Jr., of Somerville, MA (April 21, 1905 - April 21, 1970) took the pictures when he was there. I believe he was studying color chemistry at the time. I am not interested in parting with the pictures, but would be happy to share them.




Links:
USGS - Earthquake History of California
USGS - Historic Earthquakes in California

References:
Earthquake History of the United States, U.S. Department of Commerce Publication 41-1

Earthquake Center