Mount Holly, NJ Terrible Tornado, Sep 1866


A terrible and destructive tornado occurred near Mount Holly on Friday evening last. The Mirror says, it commenced about a mile and a half from Buddtown, uprooting trees, prostrating corn and fences, doing comparatively no other damage until it reached the residence of HANNAH ALCOTT and sister, on the north road from Mount Holly to Pemberton, a mile and a half from the latter place.
As it neared the residence of the MISSES ALCOTT, it prostrated everything before it; forest trees were torn up or twisted off, as though they were saplings -- fences laid low -- and of sixteen apple trees in the rear of the premises, fourteen were up-rooted, and some of them moved a distance of eight or ten feet.
The house, barn, wagon-house and pigpen were directly in its track, and they were all entirely destroyed and thrown together, a perfect mass of debris. Such utter destruction we never before witnessed.
One of the sisters was absent at the time, HANNAH only being at home. She had tetired for the night before the storm came up, and when found was on her bed, which had been forced against and among the branches of one of the large trees prostrated near the fence. A heavy limb was directly over her, serving as a protection from the broken timbers, furniture, &c. She was rescued from her perilous situation as soon as possible -- probably having been lying there for half an hour -- and taken to a friend's house in Pemberton, when it was ascertained that her leg was broken in to places, beside being dreadfully mangled, and her head severely cut and bruised. Her injuries are of such a nature as to warrant but little hopes of her recovery.
The house was lifted from its foundations, moved five feet from the road, and dashed to atoms, breaking into pieces everything in it, the outbuildings sharing the same fate. The hay and straw and broken furniture were scattered in all directions, and shingles and pieces of boards were carried over adjoining fields to the distance of a mile. One half the roof of the house was found some seventy or eighty yards off, and heavy pieces of timber and large numbers of bricks were carried to incredible distances.
The tornado passed on, across several fields, prostrating fences, trees, corn and everything else in its track, until it reached the JOHN C. ALLISON farm -- three-quarters of a mile from the MISSES ALCOTT -- owned by SAMUEL C. RAMBO, and occupied by his son, where it struck a new barn, forty feet square, leaving it an entire wreck. Two horses were in the barn, but after the wind had spent its fury, they were gotten out apparently free from injury.
The course of the tornado was from southwest to northeast, and extended not far from ten miles -- in some places its track marking three hundred yards in width, while in others it covered buy a narrow space. In some localities its courese would be zigzag, then for hundreds of yards its course would be as straight as an arrow, and again it would take its crooked path, and so went on in its work of destruction.

The New York Times New York 1866-09-17