Saturday, June 6, 2015

On this date in Minnesota History: June 6

June 6, 1906 – A tornado struck Ham Lake country this evening, nine miles east of Anoka, bringing heavy destruction to area farms and timber.

According to witnesses, a large quantity of water was sucked up from Ham Lake and came out over the top of the cloud in the shape of an immense umbrella. Citizens took to their cellars. Peter Johnson’s family was saved by lying prone on the ground in their yard; all of their buildings were damaged.

The house and other buildings of F. A. Blanchard were destroyed. A neighbor saw Blanchard’s house 200 feet in the air. Only a few pieces of boards that were part of it can be found. All the furniture and household goods have completely disappeared.

A horse was carried a long distance and landed in a marsh unhurt. The town hall at Ham Lake was moved fifteen feet. Sheds that surrounded the hall cannot be found. Not a scrap remains to mark the place where they stood.

A clean swath was mowed through a heavily timbered island in Ham Lake. All kinds of farm animals showed the utmost fear before the storm struck. The area damaged was from 100 to 300 feet wide and was ten miles in length. The homes of ten farmers were either destroyed or heavily damaged.

Minneapolis Journal; “Lake Lifted Up, Scattered Afar. Fright-Stricken Citizens of Ham Lake See Appalling Power of Tornado. Houses Hurled 200 Feet into the Air. Clean Swath Mowed Thru a Timbered Isle in the Midst of the Lake.”; June 8, 1906; p. 1.


If you are interested in finding out more about your family history in Minnesota, I specialize in researching  genealogical and historical records in Minn. and western Wis., including:
census records,  birth records,  death certificates, obits, grave site photos, ship passenger lists, marriage records and declarations of intent/naturalization records.  I will visit locations to research local history and county records, as well as take photos. Quick turnaround on MHS records.  Both short searches and family history reports.

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