Naturalist John Muir was near the epicenter of the 1872 earthquake, and wrote of it in his book
Aprils edition of the San Francisco Real Estate Circular attempted to put earthquake fears to rest with an editorial which read: San Francisco is in very little more danger of a disastrous earthquake than the Eastern States of being flooded by a overflow of the Atlantic ocean.
A Chronicle representative at Lone Pine sent this report, which detailed some of the Inyo County damage.
The earthquake which occurred at half past 2 oclock on the morning of Tuesday, March 26th, was the greatest convulsion of nature that has taken place in the United States since 1812.
Although it was felt from Oregon to Central America and Mexico, it seems to have spent its force in the Owens river region, distant from this city hundreds of miles, and lying on the opposite side of the Sierra Nevada on the line of the state of Nevada. Independence and other settlements in the the locality suffered from the disastrous effects, but it was the fate of Lone Pine in Inyo County to be marked for destruction as the center of the earths convulsive action.
The first great shock laid in ruins all the adobe buildings in the place and
caused the death of 30 persons. During the ensuing week it was computed that more
than a thousand shocks were felt
One of the tragic deaths was that of Antonia Montoya, a misguided young Mexican woman, who on the fearful night shared her couch with a paramour. Of this, our correspondent at Lone Pine writes:
The shock startled them out of their sleepSan Francisco Chronicle
April 21, 1872