100 years ago today... The Fergus Falls Cyclone of June 22, 1919

June 22, 2019

(From the archives - originally posted June 22, 2013)

I grew up hearing stories about the 1919 Cyclone in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, my home town.  My dad and his family lived there when a tornado hit on June 22, a Sunday.  According to the estimations of NOAA, it was an F5 tornado.  In 1919, “tornado” and “cyclone” were evidently used interchangeably.  To the people of Fergus, it was – and is – The Cyclone.

A few months ago, I was sorting through some old pictures and came across several photos taken after the Cyclone.  Many of these were printed on post cards.  Here are a few of them.

Lake Alice

back of the above post card - my dad's handwriting

 

 

505 N. Union

back of the above post card

 

 

Otter Tail County Court House

back of the above post card

 

 

802 N. Union - looking north

 

The Grand Hotel on the corner of Lincoln and Vine

 

Photo of the Hogan house at 818 N. Union - my dad's handwriting

 

Moving the garage from the back of the Hogan house after the Cyclone - Walter (my grandpa) is on the right.   This garage eventually became their cottage at Deer Lake.  The cottage, as it was in 2003, is pictured below.

             ©Jane Hogan      

 

818 N. Union - The Hogan house - Howard (my dad - on the sidewalk) was 9 years old at the time.

Back of the above post card

 

 

Memorial on the northeast corner of Lake Alice listing the victims of the 1919 Cyclone

Memorial at the northeast corner of Lake Alice listing the victims of the 1919 Cyclone 

(this photo added in 2019 ©Jane Hogan)

 

Published on Apr 5, 2019
 
On June 22nd, 1919, a Cyclone devastated most of Fergus Falls, Minnesota. It all happened within 30 minutes, but the damage left behind was tragic and hard to fathom. The Otter Tail County Museum in Fergus Falls has an exhibit marking the 100th anniversary of the Cyclone. Visitors are enthralled by the photos they see and encouraged by the amazing re-building process that followed after the Cyclone. Production funding provided by the Minnesota Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund and by the members of Prairie Public

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQ_201oWMxg

 

The National Weather Service/NOAA account of this tornado with photos, newspaper accounts and other interesting information can be seen here: https://www.weather.gov/fgf/1919_06_22_FergusFallsTornado


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