Storms, Freshets, And Earthquakes.
rushing torrent. At Samuel Bancroft's upper bank, on Ridley Creek, the water rose rapidly, flooding the lower floor of the mill, damaging machinery, and injuring goods. The bridge over the race at this point was washed away. At John Fox's Hillboro' Mills the dam was injured, the house over the water-wheel of the mill, and part of the dye-house, with articles of personal property, were carried off, causing a loss of ten thousand dollars. The Rose Valley Mill of Antrim Osborn & Son was much injured, the dam-breast broken, and the wool-sheds and other property were floated off, causing a damage of nearly six thousand dollars. Two sloops belonging to Spencer McIlvain & Son were lifted over the bank at Ridley Creek and stranded thirty yards from that water-course, while the bridge over the Queen's Highway, although it was lifted a foot from its foundation, fortunately was not carried off its abutments. At the paper-mill of J. Howard Lewis, on Crum Creek, the damages sustained amounted to nearly five thousand dollars, and at the axe-works of John C. Beatty the loss of property was greater than at Lewis' mill.
On Tuesday evening, July 11, 1871, violent rain fell in torrents for half an hour, accompanied by vivid lightning and heavy thunder. The storm, which moved from the direction of New Castle and extended to Philadelphia, included only the river townships in its passage through this county. In South Chester, the walls of several houses in course of erection were blown down and much other damage sustained. In Chester part of the walls of the house of Humphrey Fairlamb, in North Ward, was destroyed, the roof of National Hall much injured, and in South Ward a frame building was bodily moved from its foundation. In Ridley lightning struck a tree at J. Morgan Baker's brick-yard, near Leiperville, shattering it to pieces, and Mrs. John Dunlevy, while standing near the door of her house at Leiper's Landing, on Crum Creek, was struck by lightning. When carried into the dwelling she showed no visible signs of life, and although respiration was resumed in a short time, she remained in a comatose state until noon of the next day. At the dwelling of George Caldwell, on the Edgmont road, in Chester township, a large sycamore-tree was struck. The lightning, it is said, like a great white ball, descended from the tree to the well-curb, where it exploded with a deafening noise. Fences and trees were prostrated and uprooted, while the air was filled with broken branches during the violence of the storm.
A furious gale, extending from Washington to the New England States, occurred on Wednesday, Feb. 2, 1876. At Morton Station, in Springfield, an unfinished house was blown down, and at Aston a new barn being erected on the farm of George Drayton was also demolished. The tin-roofing of Patterson's mill, at Chester, was partly torn away, as was also that on the residence of Rev. Henry Brown. A portion of the roof of the Sunnyside Mill was blown off, as was also part of that of the barn at the Pennsylvania Military Academy. In Chester township a house on the farm of Abram C. Lukins was overturned, the roof of the picker-room of No. 3 mill, at Upland, was carried bodily into the creek, and two brick houses near Kirkman's mill, in South Chester, had the roofs taken off by the gale. The velocity of the wind is said to have exceeded forty miles an hour in this vicinity.
On Sept. 15, 1876, occurred a storm exceeding in violence any which had preceded it in thirty years. Throughout the county the corn was blown flat to the earth and the blades stripped from the stalks by the wind, pears and apples shaken from the limbs and fences laid prostrate, while houses and outbuildings were unroofed and otherwise injured. Tinicum Island and Morris' Ferry to the Lazaretto was almost entirely submerged. Jacob Alburger's meadow of one hundred acres was overflowed, his corn crop almost destroyed,, and many tons of hay floated off. His loss was computed at several thousand dollars. The banks of Darby Creek were breached in many places, and the damage sustained was great. In Chester, all the cellars in the Middle Ward, near Chester Dock, were filled with water, and in some instances the dwellers in the houses in that locality were removed in boats to places of safety. The floor of the chemical works, at the foot of Market Street, was covered with water to the depth of two feet, and salt cake, valued at five hundred dollars, and other articles, were destroyed. The tin roof of Irving & Leiper's mill was blown off, carrying with it many of the rafters, and a large quantity of coal was swept from the mill-wharf into the river, involving a loss of nearly seven hundred dollars. The lower floor of Patterson's mill, near Chester Creek, was covered with water, causing much damage to the machinery, and the greater part of the coal for the mill was forced into the creek. Morton, Black & Bro., at their lumber-yard, near the mouth of Ridley Creek, lost nearly five thousand dollars by the storm. Along the line of the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad telegraph-poles were blown over the track; and in many cases the wires prevented the passage of the cars until removed. The aggregate loss throughout the county was many thousands of dollars.
Sunday, July 28, 1877, a rain storm of much violence visited our county, particularly the townships of Nether Providence, Middletown, Newtown, Edgmont, Marple, and Springfield. The streams were gorged with the torrents of rain which had fallen; but noticeable was this the case with Crum Creek, which, about midnight carried away the bridge at Paxon's Hollow, and another on the same road. The culvert which crosses the road at George Allen's, unable to vent the water, blocked it there until it inundated the road for several hundred yards, making it impassable. The highways through Upper Providence, Darby, Springfield, and other townships were much injured. At Beatty's axe-factory the water rose