John L. Tierney and Wife Isabella Survived The Great San Francisco Earthquake and Fire

On April 18, 1906 San Francisco was wrecked by a Great Earthquake at 5:13 a.m.. The subsequent seventh Great Fire  burned for four days. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of trapped persons died when South-of-Market tenements collapsed as the ground liquefied beneath them. Most of those buildings immediately caught fire, and trapped victims could not be rescued. The total earthquake death toll topped out at more than 3,000 from all causes. Damage was estimated at $500,000,000 in 1906 dollars. The San Francisco earthquake of 1906 was one of the great natural disasters in American history. The quake and ensuing fire left a city known as the “Paris of the West” in ruins.


The earthquake shock was felt from Coos Bay, Oregon, to Los Angeles, and as far east as central Nevada, an area of about 375,000 square miles, approximately half of which was in the Pacific Ocean. The region of destructive effect extended from the southern part of Fresno County to Eureka, about 400 miles, and for a distance of 25 to 30 miles on either side of the fault zone

And at 3354 Clay Street in downtown San Francisco, John L. (Jack) Tierney and his wife Isabella survived the destruction of the entire city around them. The earthquake occurred just two days before John’s 42 birthday.  In a letter dated April 26, 1906, John wrote his nephew Frank to let him know that he and “Aunt Bella” were OK, albeit Isabella was “very nervous at first, but is getting better”. John went on to write “about five square miles is completely destroyed.  All office buildings, hotels, retail and  jobbing houses are gone – our residential district saved”.

3354 Clay Street as it looks today

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Philip (Phil) Hayes is the CEO of Sirius Innovations, LLC. As CEO of Sirius Innovations, LLC, he served as a Technology Solutions Consultant and Web Applications Programmer for fortune 500 companies, large municipalities and hospitals. He is fluent in the SQL, ColdFusion, PHP and Javscript programming languages. He is also a power user of the WordPress Content Management System, commonly used for blogging. Phil's latest product development includes a service called 'Map The Past'. The advanced, yet easy to use functionality offered in this product will enable its members to "Walk in the Footsteps of Their Ancestors". Phil became a Genealogy addict when in 1998, his Uncle, Lloyd W Lewis, sat he and his wife down on the deck of his Uncle's Pennsylvania home and told them the story of his Great, Great Grandfather Henry W. Lewis, the Privateer. The story was so intriguing that Phil found himself yearning for more details. Hence…. Philip Hayes, the Genealogist was born. Leveraging his technology skills, Philip has grown and developed the family tree well beyond what his Uncle could have ever dreamed of. Combining the power of technology and the primary sources from historical documents, Philip developed his own family history web site, based on the Word Press Content Management System (http://www.hayesfamily.us). Upon publishing the site, it has inspired many people to develop interest in the family's history and has connected Philip to several undiscovered relatives and their family stories. Phil is a member of numerous historical and genealogy societies, including the Association of Professional Genealogists

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