Exhibition Pays Tribute to Devastating 1925 Earthquake

The Santa Barbara Historical Museum is showcasing an exhibition entitled Quake! The 1925 Santa Barbara Earthquake to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the disaster that destroyed most of the city.

Aftermath of Santa Barbara's 1925 earthquake
Courtesy Photo

By the end of June 29, 1925, the magnitude 6.3 quake had turned 85 percent of local commercial buildings to rubble and felled both towers of the Santa Barbara Mission. A dam in the foothills collapsed, unleashing 45 million gallons of water on the region. Thirteen people were killed. The only stroke of luck arrived when an engineer thought to shut off the city’s gas supply to prevent fires such as those that had ripped through San Francisco during its own earthquake just two decades earlier.

The exhibition has run each week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, as well as Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. It ends July 5. The museum will offer a free outdoor screening of the 1974 movie Earthquake on July 2 from 5 to 8 p.m., with tacos, wine and other beverages available for purchase by attendees.


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