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Road to Recovery: Festive decorations on a downtown street celebrate having recovered from the devastating earthquake of 1886

Road to Recovery: Festive decorations on a downtown street celebrate having recovered from the devastating earthquake of 1886
October 2022
WRITER: 

The unprecedented natural disaster caused 60 deaths and cost an estimated $166 million in damages





Modeled after an image taken by Lowcountry photographer George LaGrange Cook, this illustration from the November 12, 1887, edition of Harper’s Weekly shows a Charleston street decorated with flags and banners to celebrate having recovered from the devastating 1886 earthquake. Cook documented the destruction of residences and other buildings after the unprecedented trembler, which caused 60 deaths and cost an estimated $166 million in damages, in a series of photos titled “Cook’s Earthquake Views of Charleston and Vicinity,” many of which are in the Gibbes Museum of Art’s collections.