On this day in 1886: The Charleston earthquake, the most destructive ever recorded in the eastern United States, leaves its mark on North Carolina.
Buildings throughout the Piedmont shake and sway. At Swannanoa a railroad tunnel caves in. Gold mines in Cabarrus County collapse, but miners escape injury because the quake hits between the day and night shifts.
“The old expression ‘solid as the Earth’ has been brought into disrepute of late,” observes the Concord Times.