1949 earthquake


Courtesy of Mason County Historical Museum

1949 Forest Festival Queen Mary Carnes presents a red hat to Gov. Arthur Langlie.

Most people who've lived in Mason County for several years have experienced at least one significant earthquake. One of them occurred at 11:57 a.m. on April 13, 1949. The 7.1 magnitude earthquake, centered between Olympia and Tacoma, affected all of Washington, northwest Oregon, southwest British Columbia, the Idaho Panhandle and northwest Montana. Eight people were killed, and dozens were seriously injured.

Although damage in Mason County was not severe, some people who were teenagers at the time remember the experience. Jerry Sheldon, who was standing outside the junior high school buildi...

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