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October 2, 2014 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham County: Earthquake!

Buckingham_Shepherds Tavern_Darlene Farmer

Photo by Darlene Farmer, 2010

Did these chimneys at Shepherds Tavern survive the 1852 earthquake?

On November 2, 1852, an earthquake damaged chimneys at Buckingham Courthouse. The quake was felt strongly in Fredericksburg and Richmond.  Years later, the magnitude was estimated at 4.3 on the Richter scale.

On November 6, 1852, the Alexandria Gazette reported:

The shock of the earthquake, which was felt in Richmond, on Tuesday evening, was, also very sensibly felt in Scottsville, Albemarle County.  Every house in the village was shaken by the oscillation; the boats lying in the canal were tossed to and fro, and the waters gave evidence of being much trouble – at least, so says the Scottsville Republican.


Leave a Comment
  1. Jeremy Winfrey / Oct 2 2014 8:57 am

    There were actually two earthquakes which shook the ground of Buckingham in 1852. The first was on April 29, centered near Wytheville, Va which “…shook down tops of chimneys at Buckingham Courthouse…”

    The second one was on Nov 2nd, where the effects in Scottsville were mentioned in the original post.

    There were also two more recorded quakes in Buckingham’s history. One on Feb 11, 1907, centered near Arvonia, “cracked chimneys… a window was broken at a store in Buckingham… a “terrific” shock sent people rushing outdoors at Arvonia and displaced furniture…felt strongly from Powhatan to Albemarle County.”

    On Dec 26, 1929, “a moderate tremor at Charlottesville shook bricks from chimneys in some places.”

    • Joanne Yeck / Oct 2 2014 9:18 am

      Thanks, Jeremy. The folks in Arvonia should have been cautioned not to run outside. That’s when people get hit with falling bricks!

  2. Harry Stuart Holman / Oct 2 2014 8:57 am

    Dear Reader,

    I understand from reliable sources that there is a serious fault line passing through Cartersville in Cumberland County. This line extends southward through Dundas in Lunenburg County. I have had serious chimney damage from the earthquake of about 2005 here in Lawrenceville. I learned that this particular earthquake measured six on the scale. The knowledge of this fault line has been kept very quiet and is not generally known.

    Harry Stuart Holman

    • Joanne Yeck / Oct 2 2014 9:15 am

      Thank you, Harry! All earthquakes do not belong to California!


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