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The Night of the Big Wind

Jan 5, 1839

There is a book "The Night of the Big Wind" by Peter Carr ISBN 1 870132 50 5 Published by White Row Press 1993 and available through and probably other book stores, too. The book gives descriptions from newspapers of the time about the ravages of the storm.

These two excerpts from the book came from the "Kerry Evening Post" for the week of Jan 5, 1839:

'KILLARNEY" County Kerry In Killarney and its neighbourhood the hurricane raged with terrible fury. The town sustained much damage and many houses were shattered. Mr. James Goggin's chimneys were blown into the street, and caused that gentleman and the whole neighbourhood much alarm - Mr. Michael McCarthy had a similar cause of terror, the roof of his house being laid quite bare. The windows of the Victoria Hotel were shattered to pieces and many aged tress...were laid prostrate, in every quarter and in all directions and at PALLAS in County Kerry. "The house of an opulent farmer, named John Sullivan, at Pallas, near Killarney, was blown down, and having taken fire, was totally consumed together with a valuable haggard, three cows, and twenty firkins of butter destroyed..."

and in GALWAY in County Galway. "Never, probably in the memory of man has this town been thrown into such awful consternation as on Sunday Night last, and had the storm been accompanied as on a former occasion with a spring tide..the inundation and destruction of at least half the town would have been the consequence. Seven lives have been lost, and there are four lying dangerously wounded.

From eleven o'clock at night to five in the morning the streets were impassable, as slates and stones were flying in all directions in rapid succession, chimneys falling, the roofs of houses giving way, windows smashing, men, women and children screaming and crying, seeking in vain, in many instances for a safe retreat, and ....."

Note: When people were applying for Old Age Pension, it was a "test" they gave; if someone could remember the "night of the big wind" then they were old enough to qualify for the Pension. Hope you enjoyed this excerpt!

Thanks to:
Mary Ann Schloegl
Grand Blanc, Michigan
for contributing this!


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