Monday, July 2, 2012

Rote Home Struck by Lightning on 24 June 1908


I just found a newspaper article that mentions one of my great-grandfathers, Alpheus Rote. According to this story from the June 26, 1908 issue of the New Castle News (the newspaper of New Castle, PA), lightning struck his home and a nearby tree.

Here's a transcript of the information:

Struck by Bolt of Lightening; Yet are Unhurt

Electrical Storm Plays Queer Tricks With City Engineers, a Young Woman and a Horse

To be rendered unconscious and then knocked out of carriage by a lightning bolt and still escape unhurt, is the remarkable experience of three of the members of the city’s engineering corps while engaged in city survey work on Willard street Wednesday afternoon.

The three men, Assistant Engineer C. E. Kimbrough and Assistants Stanley Tresser and Leslie Wilson, were sitting in the two-seated crackey which stood under a tree near the home of Alpheus Rote at No. 55 Willard street. There had been practically no violent electrical demonstration near them, when suddenly the corner of the Rote home was struck by a bolt of lightning.

For several seconds a bluish-green flame played all about the house and the tree under which the horse and carriage with the three men in it stood. Kimbrough and Wilson were knocked out of the carriage and fell to the ground. The horse was knocked senseless and did not recover for several minutes.

Neither men nor beast were hurt in the slightest that they could notice, save that the two who had been knocked out of the carriage were slightly bruised. The Rote home was badly wrecked, portions of the timbers being hurled many feet away.

Sitting near the window of the room at the corner of the house which was struck by the lightning, was one of the daughters of the Rotes. She was engaged in putting on a shoe when the bolt struck, and flying debris, consisting of lath, plaster and pieces of studding flew all about her. She escaped without a mark, not even a piece of plaster having struck her.

Isn't this a great story? I wish the article had mentioned the name of the daughter.