Helen L. Wild kept this diary immediately following the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. Wild described the state of the city, fires, her family's experiences, residential and commercial displacement, and other effects of the event on the city and its residents.
Collection processed and finding aid created by Mary Parsons, May 2006, and Meg Hixon, August 2011
Scope and Content:
Helen L. Wild, a San Francisco teenager, kept this diary, titled "The San Francisco Earthquake, Being the Impressions of One H. Wild Who Stood it all Even to Eating Relief Food and Is, So Far, Alive to Tell the Tale," during and in the days following the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. Wild described the state of the city, fires, her family's experiences, residential and commercial displacement, and other effects of the event on the city and its residents.
Wild began the diary on April 18, 1906, with a description of the earthquake and immediately resulting fires. Later that day, she visited some heavily damaged sections of the city, including the downtown business district, and commented on the flames then engulfing Market Street and other areas. She and her family temporarily evacuated their home and slept in a tent alongside others at a local park. Wild continued to write throughout the following weeks and reported on aspects of the rebuilding process, such as relief efforts and the gradual restoration of normalcy. She also included some personal reflections about the disaster. Wild maintained the diary until May 2, 1906.
Biographical / Historical:
Helen L. Wild was born on January 16, 1887, the daughter of Bavarian immigrant Charles W. Wild and Mary Lang. She had five siblings: Charles (b. 1879), Celia (b. 1881), Dolly (b. 1883), Benjamin (b. 1889), and Richard (b. 1893). Wild lived in San Francisco, California, where she worked as a stenographer. She died on March 16, 1957.
1993. M-2956 .
Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.
Rules or Conventions:
Finding aid prepared using Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS)
Additional Descriptive Data:
The Clements Library's Graphics Division holds multiple photograph albums related to the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
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