To those fascinated by the event, the Great SF Quake and fire of 1906 is remembered within the framework of the Arnold Genthe photographs; pictures of US General Frederick Funston, and the stock images that have survived for more than a century. This book is a new and amazing collection of images originating from Berkeley, which responded heroically to the needs of the displaced in the weeks following the disaster of ’06.
While Berkeley was spared the severe devastation that hit San Francisco, the quake had lasting impressions on what had been a somnolent cow town across the Bay. As survivors streamed in, they settled and became residents rather than go back to the stress of re-building San Francisco. Perhaps they were the smart ones; it took the City a long time to reconstruct itself and when it did, it found that Los Angeles had caught up to it. Things would never be the same.
Among some of the many treasures in the book are an account of the UC Cadets, a college militia outfit that went to San Francisco immediately following the disaster and who did guard duty for a time there. All the military and law enforcement units in San Francisco have had a shadow over them ever since and in recent years it was finally admitted that the number of shootings by soldiery was far more than admitted at the time. Schwartz paints a heroic picture of the Cadets stepping up to the challenge. The book is a wonder—well written, concise, a time capsule of a moment just over a hundred years ago of a time of utter and complete transformation of two cities and centuries and ought to be a part of anyone’s library who has an interest in the City that was. Earthquake Exodus will arouse no end of interest in the town of Berkeley and its role in recovery from the epic disaster.