Hampton Beach, NH Tornado, Jul 1898

NEW HAMPSHIRE TORNADO.

Loss of Life and Damage to Property at Hampton Beach.

Hampton, N. H., July 6.---A tornado struck a section of Hampton beach at 3:15 o'clock, causing immense damage to beach property and great loss of life. Cottages were blown flat, horses were picked up bodily and dashed against buildings, vehicles carried many feet, barns unroofed, large trees snapped off at their roots while others were torn up bodily. the tornado touched the beach at a place about half a mile north of Witler's hotel and cut a swath 100 yards wide in a westerly direction, moving in a rotary shape until it passed out to sea. Twenty cottages were torn down and several small hotels completely demolished.

The greatest loss of live and injury came with the demolition of the old skating rink near Levitts, a single story structure, 500x100. Here from 75 to 125 persons were seriously injured, an unknown number slightly wounded, and seven persons are already dead. A yacht owned by Captain FRANK MUDD of this place was sailing off the beach and was in the path of the storm. In it were nine persons, and of these five were drowned.

Aberdeen Weekly News, Aberdeen, SD 7 Jul 1898

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DEATH IN A TORNADO

Havoc Caused By A Swirling Storm At Hampton Beach, New Hampshire.

SKATING RINK BLOWN DOWN

Many Persons Injured And Several Killed In It

Five Other Persons, Including Three Young People Of One Family, Drowned By A Yacht Upsetting--An Actress Named Mora Among The Dead.

Hampton, N. H., July 4.---A terrific tornado struck a section of Hampton Beach, at 3:15 today causing immense damage to beach property and much loss of life.

The storm came almost without warning, and was accompanied by little rain at first, a few drops preceding the sweep of the winds. In an instant, cottages were blown flat, horses were picked up and dashed against buildings, vehicles carried many feet, barns unroofed, large trees snapped off at their roots and others torn up bodily. Electric wires of all kinds were tangled up.

The tornado touched the beach at a place about half a mile north of Whittier's Hotel, and cut a swath 100 yards wide in a westerly direction, moving in rotary shape until it passed out to sea. In a short time twenty cottages were torn down and several small hotels completely wrecked.

The greatest loss of life and injury came with the demolition of the old skating rink, near Leavitt's, a single story structure of wood, 50x100 feet in size. Here from 75 to 125 persons were seriously injured, and seven persons are dead.

A yacht, owned by Capt. FRANK MUDD, of this place, was sailing off the beach, and was in the path of the storm. In it were nine persons, and of these, five were drowned. They are WALTER, GERTRUDE and RALPH HODGSON, Kensington, N. H.; Mrs. W. H. PARKER, Kensington, and Captain MUDD, Hampton.

The list of dead on shore thus far reported was as follows: Miss MORA, an actress, of New York, who was playing in the piece entitled, "The Blowing Up of the Maine." Miss MAE PRESCOTT, Exeter, SAMUEL CAMMETT, Exeter, WILLIAM E. KARISON, Exeter. Among those believed to fatally injured in the pavilion are Miss O. D. PRESSEY, Haverhill, Mass., fractured skull; J. F. PENNINGTON, Exeter, N. H., internal injuries. KARISON was taken out dead, but Miss MORA was alive when found and died shortly after her arrival at the Merrimac House.

The pianist in the pavilion had his hands and head caught by a falling beam and was crowded against the piano so that it was not possible for him to extricate himself. He was severely hurt.

The Sun, Baltimore, MD 5 Jul 1898

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Hampton Beach, NH Tornado, Jul 1898

The fatalities at the Rink numbered four. Killed were Mr. Hilding Karlson of Exeter; Mr. Fred Williams of Brighton, Mass., an actress known as Madame Mora and the wife of the Electro-rama manager; John R. Pressey of Haverhill, playing that day at the beach with the Exeter band and Baby Cammett of Exeter, who had been accidentally dropped by his mother after the latter had been injured in the collapse of the Rink.

The Big Tornado of 1898 - "Our Town"
http://www.hampton.lib.nh.us/hampton/history/ourtown/cyclone.htm
by James W. Tucker, Thursday, November 15, 1951, from the Lane Memorial Library, Hampton, New Hampshire