Gale hits Western Washington on November 16, 1875.

  • By David Wilma
  • Posted 9/14/2004
  • Essay 217
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On November 16, 1875, gale force winds (32-63 mph) hit Western Washington for six hours, destroying three Seattle warehouses, knocking two chimneys off the University of Washington building, which is located in downtown Seattle at 4th Avenue and University Street, and wrenching loose two of the building's four decorative columns. Fences, trees, signboards, and awnings are damaged and a house is turned upside down.

The storm started about 6:00 p.m. on November 16 and seemed to have abated by 11:00 p.m. In Seattle, windows and doors were blown in and the Baptist church lost its windows. The Schwabacher Brothers and Co. warehouse was blown in as was a new warehouse on Yesler's Wharf. A woman and her four children escaped injury when a cedar tree crashed through their home. One child was temporarily trapped. Patrick Cull's roof flew off his house and came to rest upside down.

At the coal mines at Newcastle, the winds crushed four houses and more than 160 trees toppled, forcing miners to take up saws and axes to clear roads.


"Disastrous Gale," Daily Pacific Tribune (Seattle), November 17, 1875, p. 2; J[ames] Willis Sayre, This City of Ours (Seattle: J.W. Sayre, 1936), p. 71; Thomas W. Prosch, "A Chronological History of Seattle, 1850-1899," Typescript, University of Washington, Special Collections, Seattle, p. 237.

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