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A deadly jolt to Santa Barbara business

June 29, 1925: The biggest and deadliest California temblor since the 1906 San Francisco earthquake struck at 6:42 a.m. and “demolished or seriously damaged virtually all brick, concrete and stone structures” in Santa Barbara, The Times reported.

The number of dead, originally given as 17, was later reduced to 11. Although there was no magnitude scale at the time, seismologists estimate the quake at 6.3.

The destruction “forced Santa Barbara’s 30,000 residents to face a night on the city’s lawns, in the public parks and along the beach,” the newspaper said.

Residential parts of the city fared well, with damage limited mostly to cracked walls and fallen chimneys. But State Street was hit hard, and many commercial buildings were destroyed.

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“The Arlington Hotel, one of the famed hostelries of California, was virtually wrecked, a large portion of the front of the building falling into the patio,” The Times said.


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