Charleston, SC Earthquake, Sept 1886
This was considered the most damaging earthquake to hit the southeastern United States. The USGS survey states that it was 7.3 on the richter scale. http://earthquake.usgs.gov/regional/states/events/1886_09_01.php However, there are publications in South Carolina that state it was much higher.
Headlines in Florida newspapers state it was felt from Jacksonville to the west coast. This link shows how widespread it was felt: http://www.eas.slu.edu/Earthquake_Center/1886EQ/sc37.html
Since Charleston was trying to recover from the Civil War destruction, this was devasting to this town as almost every building was damaged. The city today is historically one of the most beautiful and when you make a list of all the disasters (fires, earthquakes and hurricanes), the pioneers and their descendants truly have shown that anything can be rebuilt with the spirit of community involvement and a love of home and family.