tv The Civil War CSPAN October 10, 2015 10:55pm-11:01pm EDT
and life loss per capita, no town in america had ever been as affected by an earthquake as santa rosa and i can know six. it is generally -- in 1906. the earthquake is generally known to the world as the san francisco earthquake and fire. santa rosa got shuffled aside but the devastation was staggering. inas many people had died san francisco as santa rosa am a per capita, there would have been 75,000 dead. was 52 years old from the time the community was founded. it had become a very prosperous town by 1900. in terms of night -- california towns, the railroad had been here for 30 years. effect we had 2 -- in fact, we
had to bank and were about -- two and were about oto have a third. it was very diverse with prunes, apples, hops. industry,a, the egg chicken and history. -- chicken industry. here and itanneries was a very forward looking town with a lot of prospects. 1906 earthquake took place just before dawn. bakers werelike up and around, but not many others. downtown.vastated really smart in the 1880's because we had a brickyard, we were coming along
and we made our own brick and we made them out of soil along the creeks and it turned out to not be good. two or town had burned three times when it was kind of a shack town and they decided, the downtown buildings would be and this was the brick they built them of and it didn't hold. buildings, when they were made of brick, fell down on themselves and that is where most of the people died. the immediate reaction was that people were horrified. there is a group of letters called the jesse letters, a young woman who lived here who was writing to her sister in sacramento. she talked about walking
downtown and seeing the dead bodies in the wreckage, and the devastation to the community. and came in from outside one particular man who was visiting from kansas, got his son to drive him from petaluma to a bank, cached a check for $5,000, and brought it back and gave it to people to clean up. to get the bodies out. with the money that was left, he divided among the churches. people went back into business the minute that they could. it store called rosenbergs, is now barnes & noble. down in this direction it was destroyed, but they got some goods out in a trunk and were doing business from the sidewalk. they were rebuilding.
there were three downtown buildings, because railroad square was part of the downtown. which we nowd me, call the empire building, a bank building. damaged, but it came back. just down the street to the east, the mailer fry building. these two survived both earthquakes. at the railroad tracks there is a stone building, one of our signature stone buildings built by italian stonemasons here. and isthe western hotel now a number of things including a coffeehouse and a beauty parlor. it, one wallres of gave way but it was replaced and is still there. how did the earthquake shape
santa rosa? it did grow up again. before the 1906 earthquake, the downtown area went from where we are now to the railroad depot. like three blocks. the way that it changed is because of the automobile. the 1906 earthquake gave the town of chance to redesign itself for the automobile which was new. there was a man named frank doyle who became the paternalistic figure of santa rosa. merchant invery town and talked them into giving several feet of their frontage in order to widen 4th street so they would be adaptable to the