Monroe County Library System,  Monroe, MI 48162


Bygones of Monroe:


It Shakes Buildings and Creates General Consternation

At about 8o'clock last Sunday morning, a loud report was heard which startled our citizens generally and in some parts of town created considerable alarm. At. St. Mary's church a good many people were at early mass, and they ran out of the church, some with the idea that the steeple had fallen down, and others thinking the steam boiler in the academy across the street had blown up. Those who were at mass in St. Michael's church also fled from the building in great alarm. The shock seems to have been felt more in some parts of town than in others. On the north side of the river the shock seems to have been felt the most, shaking and rattling the building considerably. On the south side, at most of the private houses, the sensation caused was as if a cannon had been fired at some little distance away, or as if some heavy substance had fallen in the upper part of the house.

At the jail however the shock was more heavy and Sheriff Woodin says it caused a crack in one of the walls and created so much alarm among the prisoners that they wanted to be taken out and given other quarters. There was no prolonged rumbling, such as usually accompanies earthquakes, but simply a report like that of a cannon or some explosion.

The water in the river was falling quite rapidly at the time of the explosion and soon thereafter a quantity of large rocks was discovered in the river bed about 20 or 30 feet below the Waterloo dam, having the appearance of having been thrown up from the river bed by some unknown agency. It is averred by all who are acquainted with the river bed in that locality that it was solid rock and quite smooth. It was at once conjectured that this was the effect of the shock, and that the rocks were thrown up in a sort of confused heap thereby.

The waters continued to fall gradually, and since that time the place has been visited by many people. The largest of the rocks which seems to have been driven out of the solid bed is say 10 x 15 feet and about 2 feet thick. And there are a good many others, varying in size down to rocks which 2 or 3 men could lift. The surface of the river bed which has been disturbed is perhaps 2 or 3 rods square.

But we do not apprehend any great danger that Monroe will be swallowed up at once, though of course no man knows "what a day may bring forth."

(Monroe Commercial, February 24, 1876; p.1, c.5) (additional article Monroe Commercial March 9, 1876; p.1, c.4, Letter to Editor)

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