The Great Storm of 2 October 1898


Front of plate
If you are like me, and have a great sense of history for your home town, when you are away it is always imperative that you visit the antique stores and flea markets of the towns you visit.  You never know what you might find in these places far from home.  I have found quite a few treasures right here in our own shops; treasures from here and treasures from far away.

Many years ago, Mary Jane Gamble was in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and she visited the local flea market to peruse the various and sundry items and to her astonishment she found a plate commemorating the great storm of October 1898 that hit Brunswick with an amazing tidal wave.  A huge wall of water washed over Brunswick and the islands.  Most people don't realize that Brunswick is practically under sea level, this area will flood very easily.  A hurricane or tidal wave will flood well over head height several miles inland.

On this particular day in October a huge tidal wave formed and washed over the town of Brunswick, destroying many homes and businesses.  Quite a few people lost their lives in this storm.  Two young African-American girls, Anne and Maggie Evans (age 4 and 1 respectively) drowned in the flood quite possibly near their home at 711 Lee Street.  As the crow flies, that's over 6 miles from the ocean.

The plate that Ms. Gamble found was created to commemorate this storm and is a drawing of Newcastle Street looking towards Monk (or Monck as it's spelled today) from what was then City Hall.  It was made in Austria and sent to Fleming & Waff for sale in their store.  Fleming & Waff was owned by Charles C. Fleming and Howard J. Waff and was located at 216 Newcastle Street.  They sold stationery and books and the business may have been created shortly before 1898 as this is the first time they show up in the city directory.  By 1908 the business was called Fleming & Bryant located at 1504 Newcastle Street selling books, stationery, hand painted china, and fancy glass goods.

By 1912 the business was known as Bryant's Bookstore run by H.H. Bryant, Jr. and they sold stationery, office supplies, pianos and talking machines.  It appears that the men who started the store decided to move on; Howard removed to Virginia by 1918 and Charles C. Fleming may have removed to Atlanta.

While it would be hard to place a price on such a relic without knowing more about the artist who created the plate, we do know that Ms. Gamble purchased the plate at a staggering sum of one dollar!


Back of plate

Actual Photo of scene located
part of the Vanishing Georgia
Collection

 

 

 

 

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