Gale lashes Puget Sound on March 25, 1897.

  • By HistoryLink Staff
  • Posted 1/01/2000
  • Essay 2664

On March 25, 1897, heavy winds lash at Puget Sound with gusts reaching at least 68 mph on Whidbey Island. Tacoma sees 50 mph winds for five hours. In Seattle, the wind breaks 17 windows in a downtown school and lifts a schoolboy off the ground.

The draw-span of the Eleventh Street Bridge in Tacoma blew open, interrupting traffic. The aging, 150-foot-long Merchants' Dock in Seattle collapsed into Elliott Bay and the Elliott Bay Yacht Club building was wrecked. Stern-wheel steamers that normally served Puget Sound cities remained in port for safety. In This City of Ours, J. Willis Sayre writes that in Seattle streetcars could not make headway against the wind and at one point the passengers got out and pushed their streetcar around the corner of Occidental Avenue and Jackson Street.


J. Willis Sayre, This City of Ours (Seattle: Seattle School District No. 1, 1936), 73; "Forty Miles an Hour," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, March 26, 1897, p. 1.
Note: This file was expanded on September 14, 2004.

Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both and to the author, and sources must be included with any reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the source noted in the image credit.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License
Major Support for Provided By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins | Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry | 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle | City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private Sponsors and Visitors Like You