100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

Deadly Tornado In New York

Longbranch Park in Syracuse, New York Longbranch Park on the northwest end of Onondaga Lake has resorts, dance halls, hotels and an amusement parks known for its roller coaster and carousel.  It gathers large crowds on the weekend, especially at the end of the warm months of summer.

On September 15, 1912 it was very warm when thunderclouds began to form. A farmer and his children were on their farm a few miles away when sticks and stones began to fall around them. A funnel cloud had touched down and soon the top of the barn was torn off. It left a path of destruction 500 feet wide. It moved on to neighboring farms where it completely wrecked barns, hen houses and corn houses. A smoke house was carried into the woods a half mile distant. It was heading for Longbranch Park and Syracuse.
When the tornado hit Syracuse trees snapped and people ran for cover. The winds were strong enough to lift one of the trolley cars off its tracks and deposited it at the foot of a nearby hill. The driver and one passenger were killed. The trolley station itself was moved.
“The noise was so great and the shouts of some women who were standing near me confused me and I don’t remember just how it happened. All that I know is that I heard a great sucking sound and it seemed as if my ears would break open. The thing that struck me peculiar was that when I saw the station move from its base there didn’t seem to be much noise with it. “I saw a man…throw his hands in the air just as the building moved and then I threw myself on the ground. Sticks fell all about me, but I was too frightened to pay any attention to them. When it was all over I was dazed and the other people were looking at each other strangely. Then someone shouted to look for the injured. It didn’t look natural and those that were standing about didn’t look like people at all.”
In all 3 were killed, 50 hurt and a 10 mile path of destruction was left.

The Longbranch Tornado
Syracuse, New York
September 15, 1912


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