Earthquake around Encounter Bay

Were any of your relatives living in the district in 1897?

From Trove Newspapers

comes the following…..

Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 – 1954) Saturday 15 May 1897


A correspondent writing from Victor Harbor says :— “On Monday afternoon, at about half past 2 o’clock, the inhabitants of Port Victor were startled by a rumbling report and an accompanying ”dance” of the earth and buildings. At first the disturbance resembled the noise caused by a lot of empty tanks being carted over a rough road, and everyone rushed out to see the supposed huge load that was making such a row and causing the buildings to shake. All along the streets people hurried out, and the scene was not devoid of amusement. The sound developed wonderfully, and so did the tremor. I am staying with my wife at Mr. Humberstone’s magnificent Grosvenor Hotel, a new structure of 60 rooms, and we were just preparing to leave for a walk along the jetty when the noise attracted our attention. Curious to know the cause of it I walked out on to the balcony, and by this time the whole building was literally swinging to and fro perceptibly. My wife immediately came out, as things were getting a bit exciting ; what with the loud rattling of doors and windows, the report, and the rolling of the massive edifice. No sooner had she left the room than the plaster on the walls of the bedroom and adjoining sitting-room fell with a crash on to the floor. We were terrified for the few moments, and expected the building to collapse, but there is not a crack in the walls from end to end. Fifteen of the rooms upstairs were damaged by portions of the wall plaster giving way and the repairs will involve considerable expenditure; otherwise the hotel is not at all damaged. There is a shop in course of erection near the hotel, and the mason who was at work on the scaffolding says the whole building shook so much that he felt certain it would be wrecked, and so he slid down the ladder and moved to the roadway like a sheet of greased lightning. Several other new buildings were slightly damaged. Only those who were here can appreciate the severity of the shock. One visitor, who did not realise the cause of it at the time, says he was sitting on the rocks at the sea side of Granite Island; and they shook so much that he rushed off in a state of fright, thinking the water or something else had induced the boulders to slide. Later on, when asked if he noticed the shock, he realised that he certainly had done so. I hope to have timely warning when the next tremor is to visit Victor Harbor.”