Hartland, WI Tornado in Waukesha 1853

Correspondence of the Sentinel

Tornado in Waukesha

Hartland, Waukesha Co., July 4, 1853.

Messrs. Editors:

I am obliged to record, this morning, one of the most terrible and destructive gales that has ever visited this part of the country. It happened between 2 and 3 o'clock on Saturday last.- Its extent in width was from four to six miles taking a north-east course. It blew very hard and at the same time the rain was falling in torrents. It carried away a portion of the "Otis House," in this village; also a portion of the "Otis Barn" roof took flight. A barn belonging to the other public house here, was somewhat damaged; besides, sundry other roofs and porches of buildings and out-buildings, suffered considerably. Shingles were picked up, full two miles from their standing point. Trees, which have withstood the "blasts of ages," were uprooted and tumbled very promiscuously, and those too firmly rooted, were stripped of their branches, which were scattered far and near and our forests and openings present truly a sad spectacle. I have heard of the killing of some sheep, a little cast of this, and there was doubtless more damage done in the way of killing stock, etc.

The wind, hail and rain played sad havoc with the crops, which looked so promising. Corn, of which there is a considerable crop, ws leveled to he ground, and many of the stalks twisted and broken entirely from the hill.

Yours in haste,
Hiram Simonds.

Source: Milwaukee Daily Sentinel, (Milwaukee, WI) Wednesday, July 06, 1853; col D