Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Tehachapi in Kern County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

What a Shock! The 1952 Earthquake

 
 
What a Shock! The 1952 Earthquake Marker image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, May 25, 2019
1. What a Shock! The 1952 Earthquake Marker
Inscription.  At 4:52 a.m. on July 21, 1952 Tehachapi residents were awaken by an earthquake lasting 45 seconds and registering 7.7 on the Richter Scale (lowered in recent years to 7.5). The quake claimed 11 lives, injured others and left 70% of the buildings in the downtown business area destroyed or so badly damaged that they had to be torn down.

The telephone operator on duty at the switchboard in the telephone office across the street from the Depot, heard a rumble and saw the switchboard rocking back and forth, followed by the loud sound of water running down the street from the collapsed railroad water tower.

Starting in 1876, business in wooden structures along Railroad Street gave the appearance of a typical western frontier town, but many of these wood structures had been destroyed by fire and replaced with brick buildings. These unreinforced masonry structures crumbled when the earthquake hit. Other buildings, constructed during the 1930s of reinforced concrete survived the quake: City Hall, the BeeKay Theatre, the Kern County Library, and the TalMarc Buidling. The Tehachapi Valley Hospital on E Street was a total loss but no lives were

What a Shock! The 1952 Earthquake Marker image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, May 25, 2019
2. What a Shock! The 1952 Earthquake Marker
lost.

A Tehachapi native expressed the change brought by the earthquake – “Old hotels are gone, in their place motels and inns; boarding houses replaced by restaurants; separate dry goods stores, meat markets and a drug store replaced by supermarkets and a variety-drug store replaced by supermarkets and a variety-drug store. Not only the familiar structures but the old, slow pace of life was disrupted.” An era had ended and downtown Tehachapi had a new look.
 
Erected by Main Street Tehachapi, Tehachapi Heritage League and The City of Tehachapi.
 
Location. 35° 7.848′ N, 118° 26.861′ W. Marker is in Tehachapi, California, in Kern County. Marker is on S Green St, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 200 S Green Street, Tehachapi CA 93561, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Hitching Post Theatre (a few steps from this marker); Mining, Gold, Salt and Limestone (within shouting distance of this marker); People of the Mountains (within shouting distance of this marker); Tehachapi Airport and Gliderport (within shouting distance of this marker); Monolith (within shouting distance of this marker); Early Settlements in The Tehachapi Area

What a Shock! The 1952 Earthquake Marker Photo image. Click for full size.
1952
3. What a Shock! The 1952 Earthquake Marker Photo
(within shouting distance of this marker); Ranching, Farming and Orchards (within shouting distance of this marker); First Roads and Highway 58 (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tehachapi.
 
Categories. DisastersSettlements & Settlers
 
Downtown Tehachapi before the earthquake. image. Click for full size.
photo courtesy of the Kelcy Restaurant
4. Downtown Tehachapi before the earthquake.
 

More. Search the internet for What a Shock! The 1952 Earthquake.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 8, 2019. This page originally submitted on June 8, 2019, by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California. This page has been viewed 49 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 8, 2019, by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement