Charleston Earthquake, 1886

On August 31, 1886, Charleston and surrounding towns suffered extensive damage from the largest earthquake to ever hit the southeast. The photographs in this collection show the aftermath of the earthquake shortly after it occurred. George LaGrange Cook, a prominent Charleston photographer created the series "Cook's Earthquake Views of Charleston and Vicinity" which featured a total of 200 photographs that could be purchased as souvenirs. A portion of this series, along with earthquake photographs from photographers William Wilson, W.H. Fairchild, J.H. Wisser, and Joseph Hall are featured here. Also, reports, maps, and geological surveys conducted by The U.S. Department of the Interior and The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission published in 1888, 1977, 1983, 1986, and 1991 are contained within the collection.

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Title Earthquakes
  • Author
  • Keywords (seismic events), tectonic, intraplate displacement, generally have caused little serious damage, exceptions Charleston earthquake of 1886 and the Union County earthquake of 1913, one of the most seismically active states east of the Mississippi River, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Charleston earthquake was felt across two million square miles, worst natural disaster until Hurricane Hugo in 1989, S.C. Seismic Safety Consortium (SCSSC), Southeastern United States Safety Consortium (SEUSSC),
  • Website Name South Carolina Encyclopedia
  • Publisher University of South Carolina, Institute for Southern Studies
  • URL
  • Access Date December 2, 2020
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update September 19, 2016
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