The 1906 Earthquake destroyed many buildings in San Jose. The city was still primarily rural and had a much smaller population than San Francisco. Due to the distance between houses and businesses on the peninsula, significant fires were less likely to occur. With an approximate magnitude of 7.8, the major earthquake terrified residents, many of whom had never experienced anything like it before. The walls of the State Insane Asylum at Agnews near San Jose collapsed, burying upwards of 100 patients. Among the buildings wrecked in San Jose are St. Patrick’s church, the First Presbyterian Church, the Centella Methodist Episcopal church, and the Central Christian and South Methodist churches.
From St. James park to San Fernando street, every building on the west side of First street collapsed, toppled, or suffered severe damage. The Auzerias building, Elks club, Unique theater, and many other buildings on Santa Clara Street were destroyed. The Dougherty building and several adjacent blocks on Second Street were destroyed by fire. The new high school in Normal Park was utterly destroyed. The Rucker building on Third and Santa Clara streets and the Nevada & Porter building on Second street was also destroyed. An annex to the Vendome Hotel was utterly destroyed, and one person was killed. The State Hospital’s main building collapsed, pinning many patients under fallen walls and debris. One hundred students from Santa Clara College went over in a group and assisted in treating the wounded.
Most of the business section was left in ruins, and fifteen or twenty residences in the town were severely damaged, including the entire business section. Most of the damage to residences was caused by the sinking of the foundations, which led to many structures falling to the ground.
#1 San Jose High School, after the 1906 earthquake
#2 Trinity Church after 1906 earthquake.
#3 San Jose Chinatown, after the 1906 earthquake.
#4 Carmichael, Ballaris & Co. after the1906 earthquake
#5 San Jose Earthquake San Jose High School, 1906
#6 Earthquake damage to high school at Seventh and San Fernando Streets, San Jose, 1906
#7 Post Office building after 1906 earthquake, Market St. & San Fernando Street, San Jose.
#8 San Jose Chinatown after earthquake, 1906
#9 Earthquake damage to US Post Office at Market and San Fernando Streets, San Jose. 1906
#10 Earthquake damage to Vendome Hotel Annex, San Jose, 1906
#11 Earthquake, San Jose, 1906
#12 San Jose Canning Company 1906 Earthquake damage.
#13 San Jose Post office after earthquake with photographers and other people looking at the building and surrounds, 1906
#14 Hall of Justice after 1906 Earthquake, San Jose, 1906
#15 Earthquake damage to Presbyterian Church, North Third Street, San Jose. CA. Modern School of Business is in background, 1906
#16 Earthquake damage to Garden City Implement and Vehicle Company at 61 South Market Street, San Jose, 1906
#17 San Jose High School after the Earthquake April 18, 1906
#18 San Jose High School After Earthquake, 1906
#19 Damage to the San Jose Post Office following the 1906 earthquake.
#20 San Jose’s Chinatown after the 1906 earthquake.
#21 San Jose High School after Earthquake, 1906
#22 Earthquake damage to San Jose High School, 1906
#23 Pacific Coast Business College Building after 1906 Earthquake, San Jose.
#24 Zoology building Stanford, San Jose Earthquake, 1906
#25 Post office after 1906 earthquake, San Jose.
#26 Presbyterian Church after 1906 Earthquake, San Jose.
#27 Fire after Earthquake, 1906
#28 Hotel Vendome after 1906 earthquake
#29 New York Furniture Store and Native Sons of the Golden West Hall, damaged by 1906 earthquake, San Jose, 1906
#30 Front of Agnews State Hospital pre-1906 earthquake, showing full extent of building. Palm trees flank the left and right side of the driveway.
#31 Winchester House before earthquake, 1900s
#32 Winchester House before 1906 earthquake.
#33 Sarah Winchester house before 1906 earthquake.
#34 Earthquake damage clean-up, 1906
#35 View of Winchester House facade, southeast corner before 1906 earthquake.
#36 Hotel in San Jose, after the 1906 earthquake.
#37 Unique Theatre, San Jose, after the Earthquake, April 18, 1906
#38 San Jose Chinatown after 1906 earthquake.
#39 Earthquake damage to Dougherty Building, 1906
#40 Winchester Mystery House Before the 1906 Earthquake.
#41 Post Office on the Plaza, 1906
#42 Ruins at Gymnasium, Stanford University, after the earthquake, 1906
#43 Earthquake damage to St. Patrick’s Church, 1906
#44 1906 earthquake rubble.
#45 Beds on lawn after the 1906 earthquake.
#46 Earthquake damage to buildings, 1906
#47 Residence of William L. Manly after earthquake, 1906
#48 San Jose Chinatown after the earthquake, 1906
#49 A destroyed building after the 1906 earthquake.
#50 House, victim of earthquake 1906
#51 Hall of Justice 1906 Earthquake damage.
#52 St. James hotel-Annex and other nearby buildings, all brick, damaged by earthquake, 1906.
#53 Santa Clara High School after Earthquake, 1906
#54 Calif. Pine Box & Lumber Co. after earthquake 1906
#55 Stanford Campus after 1906 earthquake.
#56 Stanford University after 1906 earthquake.
#57 St. Patrick’s Church after earthquake, 1906
#58 Stanford Campus after the earthquake 1906
#59 Earthquake damage to Vendome Hotel. Looking from North First Street, 1906
#60 Fire on South Second Street After Earthquake, 1906
#61 Building damaged after 1906 earthquake.
#62 Pacific Coast Business College after Earthquake, 1906
#63 St. Patrick’s Church after the 1906 Earthquake.
#64 Memorial Arch after 1906 earthquake.
#65 Ward Residence, N. Third St. after earthquake, 1906
#66 Earthquake, San Jose, 1906
#67 Earthquake Damaged San Jose Main Post Office, 1906
#68 San Jose High School ruins, 1906
#69 San Jose High School Ruins, 1906
#70 San Jose High School, earthquake damage, 1906
#71 San Jose High School, 1906
#72 Earthquake damaged San Jose Post Office, 1906
#73 San Jose Post Office, 1906
#74 St. Patrick’s Church after 1906 earthquake.
#75 Agnews State Hospital, Wards D-F, damage after 1906 earthquake.
#76 Earthquake damaged San Jose post office, 1906
#77 Earthquake damaged building, 1906
#78 Winchester Mystery House before the 1906 Earthquake.
#79 Earthquake damage Downtown San Jose, 1906
#80 Earthquake Collapsed Buildings, 1906
#81 Earthquake damage on East San Fernando Street, 1906
#82 Earthquake damaged First Presbyterian Church, 1906
#83 Earthquake damaged Letcher Automobile Company, 1906
#84 Earthquake-damaged Elks Hall building, 1906
#85 earthquake damage to First Presbyterian Church, 1906
#86 Earthquake damaged Hall of Justice, 1906
#87 Earthquake damaged Hall of Records, 1906
#88 Ruins of Grant School, San Jose, a two story frame building wrecked by the earthquake of April 18, 1906.
#89 Grant School, 1908
View of Grant School from Empire Street. A flagpole stands in front of the school to the left. The two-story stucco school stood on East Empire Street between North Tenth and North Eleventh Streets. It was demolished in the early 1970s after failing to meet earthquake safety standards.
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#90 Earthquake Damaged Dougherty House, 1906
The damage is most obvious on the right side of the building where columns are leaning. This house was at 460 North Fifth Street. It was owned by William Dougherty, founder of Dougherty Lumber Company, one of the largest lumber companies in the state. At the time of the earthquake, it was inhabited by his widow, Mrs. Ann Dougherty.
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#91 San Jose Post Office before the earthquake of April 18, 1906
The Gothic post office is at center and is constructed of stone. There are three large towers, including two domed towers in the distance at left and a tall clock tower with a conical roof in the foreground at right. At left, a row of columns supports an overhang over a covered porch. A large dome can be seen between the towers.
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#92 Man examining the ruins of the OA Hale & Co. building, caused by 1906 earthquake in San Jose.
#93 A building damaged by the 1906 earthquake in San Jose.
The damaged brick walls of the large building still stand upright behind a grass yard which is lined with a row of palm trees. At center a tall, glass dome of the building still stands above the rest, but the brick walls at center are crumbled and expose the thin support frame inside.
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#94 View of a high school after the 1906 earthquake in San Jose.
The brick walls of the school still stand, but the roof and top level have collapsed into the center. Many of the rectangular windows are broken and a pile of debris blocks the three archways of the entrance on the left. Trees can be seen next to the building on the far left.
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#95 View of San Jose following the 1906 earthquake, showing damage done to a business street.
Several people stand along the street looking at the debris of a building that stood on the corner. The half of the building that did not fall can be seen just to the left with all the rooms on the visible side exposed due to the collapsed outer walls. The buildings along the street further down appear to be in tact with many horses and carriages as well as people standing on the sidewalk just outside.