L.M. Gross Collection Storm of 1919 Picture Postcards
On September 14, 1919, a catastrophic storm came ashore on the Texas Gulf Coast in the vicinity of Corpus Christi. Mainly due to a devastating tidal surge, the storm caused significant loss of life and property throughout the area, especially in Corpus Christi. Many photographs were made of the storm’s aftermath. Included in these images were numerous picture postcards that visually chronicled the wreckage. The L.M. Gross Collection in the Special Collections & Archives Department contains twenty-eight of these postcards, each of an interesting and informative view, as well as one of the city during the 1920's, when it had recovered.
These images poignantly record the damage that directly led to the creation by civic leaders of the protected deep water Port of Corpus Christi, the Corpus Christi Seawall, and other civic improvements that launched Corpus Christi’s growth as a major Texas urban center. They speak volumes about the traumatic event that many historians see as the central natural disaster in Corpus Christi history. Generously donated to Special Collections by Robert L. Gross, the son of L.M. Gross, these original postcards are standard 3.5” x 5.5” in dimension.
Permission to use any of these photographs must be obtained from the Special Collections & Archives Department, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Library. Any use is prohibited without prior permission. These images are at 72 dpi. A&M-Corpus Christi will provide these images in greater resolution upon request.
The full credit line should read: L.M. Gross Collection, Special Collections & Archives, Mary and Jeff Bell Library, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.
For identification purposes, each photograph has its own unique number.
Photograph 48-1 shows a view of Chaparral Street following the
Storm of 1919.
Photograph 48-2 shows a view of Chaparral Street looking south.
Photograph 48-3 shows another image of the destruction on Chaparral Street.
Photograph 48-4 shows Peoples Street after the 1919 Storm.
Photograph 48-5 shows the extensive flooding on Peoples Street that was caused by the hurricane.
Photograph 48-6 shows the devastation of a structure in front of the Magnolia Petroleum Co. Gasoline Auto Supply Station on Mesquite Street
Photograph 48-7 shows the wreckage of several structures on the Bayfront following the 1919 Storm.
Photograph 48-8 shows debris scattered along North Beach.
Photograph 48-9 shows the devastation along the shoreline.
Photographs 48-10 and 48-11 show the annihilation of the causeway from opposite vantage points.
Photographs 48-12 and 48-13 show the tour boat known as the Japonica beached by the storm.
Photograph 48-14 shows a local street car on its side.
Photograph 48-15 shows the remnants of structures in front of a residence damaged by the 1919 Storm. The Nueces County Courthouse is in the background
Photograph 48-16 shows the Nueces County Courthouse after the 1919 Storm.
Photograph 48-17 shows the demolished C.C. Railway and Light Company Power Plant.
Photograph 48-18 shows several people clearing the rubble caused by the storm around the C.C. Railway and Light Company.
Photograph 48-19 shows the remains of Harbin [Hardin?] Court following the 1919 Storm. Inscription on reverse of postcard reads:
“All that was left of 85 tourist houses where the tourist of means lived."
Photograph 48-20 shows the site of the Oatman and Welch homes.Inscription on reverse of postcard reads: “Two doors from my home. Our site was washed just as clean as this and is really on this card where cross is.”
Photograph 48-21 shows the remains of the Chapman Apartments.
Photograph 48-22 shows the damaged P.H.S. Hospital.
Photograph 48-23 shows the ruined home of Judge McDonald on North Beach. P.H.S. Hospital is in the background.
Photograph 48-24 shows the wreckage on North Beach . P.H.S. Hospital can be seen in the background. Inscription on reverse of postcard reads: “¼ only of the hospital left standing 53 patients and all but one nurse was saved.”
Photograph 48-25 shows the debris in front of the Lichtenstein & Son’s Building at 502 Chaparral Street. Inscription on reverse of postcard reads: “In front of our store 2 weeks after the storm.
Photograph 48-26 shows the devastation in front of the Lichtenstein & Son’s Building and nearby structures on the 500 block of Chaparral Street.
Photograph 48-27 shows wreckage around the remains of the Caldwell residence.
Photograph 48-28 is a cityscape of the wreckage on Chaparral Street. The Edison Dry Goods Co. located on the 400 block of Chaparral Street is on the right side of the street near the center of the photograph. The bluff and its residences can be seen at the top right of the image.
Photograph 48-29 shows downtown Corpus Christi, circa 1920s after the city emerges from the devastation of the Storm of 1919. The breakwaters in Corpus Christi Bay, constructed during the early 1920s, can be seen in the background.
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