Ith (ithildyn) wrote,
Ith
ithildyn

Touching the Past

When I was a little girl, I used to listen enrapt, to stories of the Great 1906 Earthquake. The mother-in-law of the owner of the hotel my father was resident manager of, had been a girl in 1906 and had lived through the earthquake, and some days, I would go up to her apartment for tea and stories. Too bad I was too little to quite realize I was touching history. So this account, recently discovered, of a young woman's experience during those dark days held special meaning for me.

Leonie von Zesch, the daughter of a German countess, graduated in 1902 at age 19 from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, San Francisco, and built a thriving dental practice in the city prior to the great quake and fires of 1906. Among the typewritten pages bequeathed to her niece was a description of the disaster as it eerily unfolded around her. She would lose almost everything, including her home and office.
Tags: now about me, rummaging in the attic
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