Electronic Supplement to
Geologic Setting of the 1884 Bear Lake, Idaho, Earthquake: Rupture in the Hanging Wall of a Basin and Range Normal Fault Revealed by Historical and Geological Analyses

by James P. Evans, Dawn C. Martindale, and Richard D. Kendrick, Jr.


Part One: Felt Reports


Note: The following are the various felt reports as reported in journals and newspapers. They include several newspapers, one journal and a monthly newsletter. The newspaper articles appear exactly how they do in the actual paper, including grammatical and spelling errors. If an article appeared in several newspapers, the additional references are listed below the source. The journal article also preserves the authors’ style, but line length is normal. The monthly review abstract came from a published source, and transcribed in modern settings.


Source: Deseret News Semi-Weekly, Wend, 12 Nov. 1884, col 7, pg 2

Duplicate of Paris Points article- Deseret Evening News, 13 Nov 1884; Deseret Weekly News, Wend, 19 November 1884, col 3, pg 689)

More of the Earthquake. - "M," writing from Richmond, Cache County, on the 10th inst., speaks thus of the earthquake experienced there and in different parts of Utah early that morning: "At about five minutes before two o’clock this morning, the people of this place and the surrounding country were awakened by low rumbling sounds, like distant thunder, or the approach of a severe wind-storm, followed quickly by a sudden trembling and shaking of the earth. The shock was quite severe in some parts of the town. At the co-op store canned goods were shaken from the shelves. The ‘earthquake’ has been the town-talk during the day."

The Ogden Herald. Of the same date says:

"Early this morning the slumbers of a number of the citizens of Ogden were disturbed by the rattling of windows, furniture, etc., caused by a slight shock of earthquake. During the day reports have been received from stations along the Utah & Northern to the same effect, the worst being apparently experienced between Logan and Pocatello, the shock at Battle Creek being very severe and scaring the people considerably. The tremors evidently followed the chain of mountains, for the residents in the western part of this city, knew very little, if anything of the occurance at the time."

Source: Salt Lake Daily Tribune, Tuesday morning, 11 Nov 1884, col 4, pg 4

The Earthquake About 2 o’clock yesterday morning the city was perceptibly shaken by an earthquake. It was distinctly felt by a great number of citizens in all parts of town, come asserting that the movement was from east to west and some that is was from north to south. Chandeliers were seen to move mirrors to tremble and the rattling of dishes and windows was distinctly heard by many residents. The swaying motion was felt for fully half a minute, but of course it seemed a good deal longer time than that to most people. The last shock perceived here was the one that occurred two years ago this month about 6(?) o’clock one evening.  

Source: Deseret Evening News, 15 Nov 1884, col 1, pg 5

LOGAN had two distinct shocks of earthquake last Monday morning. It is understood that Blaine has had several also.  

: Deseret Evening News, 13 November 1884, col 2, pg 3. (Repeated in The Deseret Weekly News, Wend, 19 Nov 1884, col 1, pg 697.)

PARIS POINTS EARTHQUAKE INCIDENTS AND OTHER JOTTINGS Brother Richard G. Lambert, of this office, who is traveling through the "north countree" in the interests ofthe NEWS, sends us a few interesting fragments picked up in Paris, Bear Lake County, Idaho. He begins with last Monday’s earthquake of which we have already heard something. Says he: "This quiet town was startled this morning at ten minuets to two o’clock by an earthquake, the shock lasted at least half a minute. It was quiet severe, causing ornaments to be thrown from shelves and a rattling among dishes. It was preceded by a rumbling sound resembling, as mush as anything, a runaway team with a heavy wagon, or a heavy train or cars. It cracked the walls of houses and four lighter ones followed the first shock. The town was throughly startled, some thinking that the end had come. One young man who drives a team, imagining it was running away, awoke calling out "Whoa!Whoa!" In the office of Wolley Bros., a heavy clock was thrown from the top of a safe to the floor and broken. Sundry articles were cast from the shelves in their store. The shock seemingly passed from north-west to south-east, and was felt at Evanston and north of here along the Oregon Short Line. At Soda Springs and Pocatello the shock was heavy and was felt at other places as well.     Sources: Deseret Evening News, Monday evening, 10 November 1884, Col 2, pg 3 (repeated in Deseret News Weekly, Wend, 12 Nov 1884, col 1, pg 684.) "Did You feel the Earthquake." --This question passed from mouth to mouth, this morning, among neighbors in different parts of the city. "Yes" and "No" were the answers elicited. From several reliable

s we learn that about 2 a.m. a low rumbling was heard, which lasted a few seconds and passed; others felt a shaking which awoke them, and windows and pieces of furniture were affected by the vibration. Others heard and felt nothing at all, being sound sleepers. That it was an earthquake tremor there is but little doubt, as so many experienced its effects which though not violent, were plainly manifest. The following dispatch was received this morning: [SPECIAL TO THE NEWS.] Paris, Idaho, Nov. 10, 1884. Six distinct earthquake shocks were felt here this morning. The first at seven minutes before two, was terrific and lasted over half a minute. Five other shocks, comparatively slight occurred at brief intervals afterwards; the last at twenty minutes after four. The shocks were felt through the valley as far as heard from. Considerable damage to houses is reported, and some movable articles were broken, although nothing serious occurred. People were affected as if by sea sickness. The movements of the first were severe shocks from northeast to southwest, and then a swaying motion from north to south. The others were from east to west.    

Source: Salt Lake Tribune, 13 November 1884, col 3, pg 4 Earthquake in Bear Lake Valley EDS. TRIBUNE:

This small berg and surrounding country was thrown into a fever heat of excitement by a terrible shock of earthquake. It began at 1:56 a.m. by a low, rumbling noise, accompanied by a slight trembling, sufficient to cause a rattling of windows, stoves, etc., and was followed in about 10 or 15 seconds by a most terrific shock, throwing books, dishes, etc., from their shelves and rocking houses to and fro almost akin to a vessel at sea. This was followed at exactly 2 a.m., or about four minutes after the first shock, by another shock much lighter than the first, and again at 2:53 another shock was felt, but was so slight as to be hardly noticeable. As the election of our President has been that all aborbing event of the world for the past week, it is quite safe to attribute this subterranean distrubance to the glaring error of the American people, but if the mere possibility of Cleveland’s election should cause such a revulsion on the part of Mother Earth, what must we expect on the 4th of next March? W.X.Y.Z MONTPELIER, Idaho, Nov. 10, 1884.      

Source Journal History- Deseret News, 14 Nov 1884

LAKETOWN, Rich County, has been heard from on the earthquake. It shook beds, woke people up, scared children and lasted about ten seconds. So says Joseph H. Pugmire, who also places it between two and three o’clock a.m The 10th inst.  

Source: Journal History, Utah Journal, 22 Nov 1884

THE EARTHQUAKE --Woke some of the sisters up and frightened them considerably. They thought there was a man in the room. Horrible thought! Opened some of the doors and rattled down a pan in ye humble scribe’s abode frightening me out of seven years growth which is an awful [illegible] cicumstance as I an not long for [illegible] world.

Source: Journal History, Utah Journal, 15 Nov 1884

MORE ABOUT THE EARTHQUAKE- every day since it happened we have been receiving letters about the earthquake. It was probably the most severe one ever felt in these mountains since their settlement. It seems however, to have varied in severity in different localities, probably owing to differences in the subterranean formations. Though we do not print the letters we have received- there are too many of them and they are too much alike- we are glad to have received them for they indicate that we have an extensive and alert corps of correspondents.    

Source: Journal History- The Utah Journal, Wends, 12 Nov 1884

EARTHQUAKE- Many citizens of Logan and other portions of this country felt an earthquake at a few minutes before two o’clock last Tuesday morning. In Logan there were two very distinct shocks, causing persons in some instances to leap from their beds in alarm. At points on the O.S.L. there were as many as six shocks. It was felt at various points in Utah and Idaho.  

Source: Journal History, Utah Journal, 15 November 1884

GENTILE VALLEY NEWS- ..... (skip first paragraph- story relating to wagon injury) Monday morning at about half past one o’clock the people of this valley were suddenly aroused from their peaceful slumbers by hearing a rumbling noise, followed by a general shaking up of everything; at first some thought it was the Anti’s kicking over the defeat, they were blasting rock to erect a monument over the grave of the late Singiser. But we all came to the conclusion that it was nothing but a severe shock of an earthquake. There were three distinct shocks, and one man claims to have felt five. The first shock was severe enough to splash milk out of pans, stop clocks, crack plastering on walss, and give everyone a good scare. Wednesday morning at about the same time another slight shock was felt, but so light as to be scarcely perceptible. (Misc stories to follow- not related to quake) DEMOCRAT GENTILE VALLEY, Nov. 12, 1884    

Source: Journal History- Ogden Herald, 10 Nov 1884

At two o’clock, this morning, all stations along the line of Utah & Northern Railway, between Logan and Pocatello, reported having experienced a heavy shock of earthquake; the shock lasted twenty-five seconds and is reported to have been severe. Animals stampeded and people were awakened from their slumbers by the manifestations of the disturbance in the internal economy of Mother Earth. No lives were lost so far as is known, and the mails will probably bring us full particulars of the occurrence. The shock extended as far south as this city and many residents here were awakened by the rattling of household goods, and the shaking of windows. The event is significant of the mighty parturition which is now agitating the political world the finis of which is to be the birth of a new era of reform with Grover Cleveland at the helm.  

Source: Journal History- Ogden Daily Herald, 11 Nov 1884

BRIGHAM BITS (Stories first irrelevant to quake) SHOCK OF EARTHQUAKE was experienced in this city about twenty minutes to two o’clock, this morning. Parties who felt it, say they shock appeared to pass from north to south, the vibrations lasting about ten seconds. Mr. David Booth said he was awakened from a sound sleep by the shaking of the bed, and experienced a very peculiar sensation which he could not describe. In another instance a lamp was shaken from a table, breaking the chimney and leaving the globe uninjured.    

Source: Journal History: The Daily Herald, Tuesday, 11 Nov. 1884.

THE EARTHQUAKE Salt Lake Visited with a Slight Shock on Monday Morning Visitors and telephone messages came in thick succession to THE HERALD office yesterday morning, all eager to know what had been reported of a sudden movement in real estate during the previous night. All account agreed that there had been a sharp and generally prevalent shaking up at about 2 o’clock Monday morning, and a reporter, who had slept too soundly after the denionstration to have heard it himself, started out to see what could be learned concerning the event. At the telephone office the young man on night watch, J. Moore, said his hair was lifted by suddenly seeing the gas lamps commence a fearful shaking without any visible reason for it. There was no other movement that he could perceive and according to his judgement the movement continued for twenty or twenty-five seconds. Other accounts do not make it of so long duration. Mr. J. S. Barne, Seventh Ward, was awakened by a violent shaking of his bed; his daughter was also aroused in an adjoining room, and called out to her father asking what the matter was. Mr. Barnes looked at his watch on the moment and found it was just five minutes of 2. He thought it lasted from five to ten seconds. The inmates of Bishop Sharp’s house, and that of Mayor James Sharp, Twentieth Ward, were also awakened by the shock. Dr. Benedict’s family, Ninth Ward, were among those who experienced it. Frank Jennings, Eighteenth Ward, Francis Cope, Sixteenth Ward, W.J. Bateman, Seventh Ward, the White House, and residents in many other quarters of the city all report that the shock was unmistakable, and all agree that it occurred about 2 o’clock. Mr. J. F. Little awoke to find himself upon his feet in the center of the room and the windows rattling fearfully on every side of him. The shock seems to have been severest up north. The Utah & Northern train running south was shaken up and the passengers arrived in Ogden terribly frightened. Reports from other points have not reached us, but the following is an account of how they felt in Idaho. PARIS, Idaho, Nov. 10 1884 Six distinct earthquake shocks were felt here this morning. The first at seven minutes before 2 was terrific and lasted over half a minute. Five other shocks, comparatively slight, occurred at brief intervals afterwards; the last at twenty minutes after 4. The shocks were felt throughout the valley as far as heard from. Considerable damage to houses is reported and some movable articles were broken, although nothing serious occurred. People were affected as if by sea sickness. The movements of the first were severe shocks from northeast to southwest, and then a swaying motion from north to south. The others were from east to west.  

Source: The Bear Lake Democrat, 14 Nov 1884, col 2-3, pg. 3 (also appears in Journal History for 14 Nov.) EARTHQUAKE!! Bear Lake Receives a Good Shaking up. AND CAUSES A LITTLE DAMAGE About ten minutes to 2 o’clock, last Monday morning, the people of Paris were awakened from their peaceful slumbers by a most tremendous shock of earthquake, which lasted fully 30 seconds at the least. To give here the different versions of the shock, as recited by those who experienced it would take up more space than we can devote. But the following is about as true and faithful a report of it as we can give: About 11 minutes to 2 o’clock or a few seconds before the first and most terrific shock was felt, – a roar as of a rushing wind was heard approaching from the northwest, and as it came nearer resembled the report of heavy cannonading. Striking the houses it took hold of them as toys, rocking them t o and fro as a person would rock a cradle. People were aroused from their sleep in dread and fear, and for the moment hardly realized what it was! When the truth flashed across their minds many of the frail sex swooned with fright, others were prostrated with sickness, and nearly all say that they never experienced anything so much like seasickness before. Several had their arms, legs, or other portions of their body entirely paralized with electricity. Although the shock was not fatal, so far as we have learned, it had done considerable damage. Clocks were stopped, some being thrown from their places and smashed, crockeryware of all descriptions were thrown from shelves and tables and broken; milk was upset out of pans; books, papers, etc., were stewn around the house in horrid confusion; chimneys fell to the ground; plaster cracked and dropped; wood work from stables loosened and fell; the water in several ditches was upset, while new channels were formed; people in bed were literally uncovered; pictures were thrown from the walls; hanging lamps swayed to and fro as though done by the hand; bedsteads rocked like small cradles; and all this confusion, accompanied by the bellowing of cattle, barking of dogs, bleating of sheep, neighing of horses and crowing of roosters, made the scene a perfect picture of terrible bewilderment. In fact we cannot begin to give a faint idea of the fearful affair. Several other shocks followed, but none to equal the one just mentioned. We here give the time of the shocks as they were felt on Monday morning in Paris: 1:52; 1:58; 2:10; 2:19; 2:24 and 3:15. On Tuesday morning two more shocks were felt at 1:55 and 7. On Wednesday three more shocks were felt, viz: at 1:50; 2:34 and 5:05. (On Thursday morning two shocks were experienced distinctly, one at 1:55 and the other at 3:40. We herewith give reports as received from the various settlements: LIBERTY. I send you today an account of some of the pranks of the "but cut" of an earth quake, which introduced itself to the citizens of this burg rather unceremoniously last night. The shaking up or the shaking down, commenced at 1:52 a.m., standard time. Twenty one shocks followed at intervals, the last occurring at 10:25 a.m. They seemed to come from the northwest, passing to the southeast. The casualties are not serious, although some persons were somewhat frightened, two or three woman fainting from fear. One man, living about two miles out of this town, hooked up his team, loaded in his family, and came into town to visit some friends, arriving at 2 o’clock. Nearly, if not all the clocks in the settlement were stopped, one effectually being pitched nearly across the house. Plastering was shaken out of log houses, and chimneys were thrown down. David King had just completed his new house and was ready to move in, but Monday morning found it so badly damaged by the earthquake that he found it necessary to re plaster it, and re-build the chimneys, as the latter were broken off at the roof. At Liberty saw mill the people were greatly disturbed by logs rolling down the hillside from the mill yard, which is situated on quite a steep side hill above the houses. There was almost a constant rumbling noise as of distant thunder or cannonading, and it did not seem to be very far off some of the time either. Cattle bellowed, dogs barked, turkeys gobbled, cocks crewed, and general confusion reigned throughout the night. Some experienced a seasickness. The air seemed full of electricity. Tuesday night, at 8 or 10 o’clock, more shocks were felt, being sufficiently strong to shake the houses and wake the people. One man rose up in bed and ballooed: "Whoa!" thinking his team was running away. I heard of one man starting up in bed as fear came upon him, and said he would never scratch another ticket; but he is a Parasite. BLOOMINGTON On the morning of the 10th inst, at about two minutes to 2 o’clock, the first of three shocks of earthquake was felt in Bloomington. Different parties describe it very differently. My own experience is, that a rumbling noise like that of a slow railroad train, was accompanied by six or eight sharp jerks, north and south; which made the castor bedstead strike the south wall near it three or four times, followed in five or ten minutes by a light shake, and another very light shock about 5 o’clock. Several parties in Bloomington think the rolling motion was from east to west, and several saw a bright glow in the sky, going from west to east. One lady, who resides in an old log house, thought the building was falling, and told her husband she always told him it would. A young married couple ran to the next house, leaving the baby in bed. ST. CHARLES On the morning of the 10th isnt. at St. Charles, at 1:55, my house had the motion as if on wheels, moving north and south, in sailor’s parlance, the house lurched forward. The motion lasted for about thirty seconds. The sky was clear, excepting a slight haze around the moon. The thermometer at that time was 190 above zero. This is the second shock of an earthquake that I have felt in my lifetime, the first when a boy in Scotland. LAKETOWN A shock of earthquake occurred here this (Monday) morning at about two o’clock, standard time. Several of our citizens experienced quite a rocking in their beds. GEORGETOWN this place got a lively shaking up last night; or rather this morning, somewhere near two o’clock. Things danced around in a lively manner, frightening many of the female portion, as well as some of the opposite sex out of their wits. Nearly all the clocks in town were stopped, milk thrown out of the pans all over the cupboard, and articles that were on shelves and bureaus were thrown into the middle of the floor. No particular damage was sustained, with the exception that dishes were thrown from cupboards and broken. There were four distinct shocks, the first being the most severe and of the longest duration. The length of the shock is variously estimated at from twelve or fourteen seconds, to from one to seven minutes. I think perhaps fourteen or fifteen seconds would be nearly right. I was wide-awake when it all happened. At first I heard a rumbling noise, which I took for the cars on the O.S.L. R.R., at some distance, it kept getting louder and louder until I thought it was crossing the railroad bridge just below Georgetown, when all at once the house began shaking like "Sam Hill." That is all I know about the row. RANDOLPH The earthquake was distinctly felt here, but not with so much violence as at Paris. It done no damage that I have heard of.  

Source: The Salt Lake Herald, Tuesday, 11 Nov. 1884, p8, col 4.

OGDEN FLASHES SEVERAL of Ogden’s citizens were awakened last night by a slight shock of earthquake, which did no serious injury, excepting to frighten some timid and nervous persons. The only accepted theory for its appearance is that Mother Earth was congratulating Grover Cleveland on his election.       JOURNALS

Source: Sunday 9th, 1884- Methias F. Cowley Journals, Special Collections, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah.

"Went to Lewiston, riding with Bishop Herman Hyde and wife. Attended meeting afternoon and night. Slept at Bro. Harvey M. Rawlins. About 2 I think Monday morning quite a heavy shock of earthquake was felt by many of the people in Lewiston, although I believe none of us at Bro. Harvey Rawlins’ felt it. It was also felt in different parts of the country."         MONTHLY WEATHER REVIEW

Source: "Earthquakes," Monthly Weather Review 12, no. 11 (November 1884): 288. Courtesy of Wyoming State Library, Cheyenne, Wyoming.

9th- Fort Bridger, Wyoming: at about 2:00 a.m. of this date, an earthquake shock was felt at this station, causing windows to shake and alarming the garrison. The Signal Service observer reported: "Telegraph poles shook and the wires swung perceptibly; the shock lasted five to ten seconds, and, as nearly as I can estimate, moved from west to east." 10th- The "Kansas City Review of Science" publishes the following: "A severe shock of earthquake was felt at Salt Lake City, Utah, at about two o’clock on the morning of the 10th. Much alarm was felt but no damage was done. The tremors lasted about ten seconds. At Paris, Idaho, six shocks were felt about the same time, and from then till four o’clock. Considerable damage to houses is reported and the people were affected as by sea-sickness. The shocks were from northeast to southwest, then a swaying motion from north to south; the succeeding shocks were from east to west."


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