Barry Docks, a port in Barry, Vale of Glamorgan in Wales, opened in 1889. A massive project undertaken by Victorian engineers John Wolfe Barry, Thomas Forster Brown and Henry Marc Brunel, son of the iconic Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the docks went on to employ thousands of men and women.
By 1913 it was the biggest coal port in the world.
The image below is of the area ready for the official opening on the 18th of July, 1889.
Read about the Land Rush in Oklahoma that took place on the 22nd of April, 1889 HERE.
On Wednesday the 12th of June, 1889 a train in Armagh, Ireland (now Northern Ireland) stalled and rolled into another. Amongst the people on board were Sunday school children on an excursion.
Eighty people died (though some reports state a higher death toll) in what was at the time Europe’s worst rail disaster.
The Johnstown Flood, otherwise known as the Great Flood of 1889, occurred in Pennsylvania on the 31st of May, 1889. 2209 people were killed when a dam broke and unleashed 20 million tons of water on the surrounding area.
The six people who were inside this house all survived. X
Heavy rain hit the area in the days before the flood, and despite attempts to save the dam before it broke, nothing could be done and everybody retreated to wait. The flood began at about 3:10pm.
The wave of water that hit surrounding towns was said to have reached 18 metres (60 feet) in height.
Minnesota was hit by a series of tornadoes in the summer of 1883, but the F5 tornado that hit Rochester was the worst.
It hit at 5:30pm on the 21st of August, and killed thirty-seven. Some two-hundred were injured.
The lack of hospital facilities in the area at the time resulted in the founding of the Mayo Clinic in 1889.
Members of the Tsimshian tribe hold a tea party near Fort Simpson, British Columbia, Canada. Circa 1889 or 1890.
The photograph was allegedly taken on the 1st of July.
The murdered Hanna Johansdotter (1867-1889)
On the 28th of March, 1889, a mother and son took part in the murder of the son’s wife, Hanna Johansdotter, in Yngsjö, Sweden.
Mother and Son
Anna Månsdotter had a sexual relationship with her son, Per Nilsson, and it is said the marriage was arranged as a cover.
Though there were conflicting reports of what actually happened, it is believed the mother beat Hanna with a piece of wood, strangled her, and then she was dressed and posed to look like she fell down the stairs. It is believed the motive may have been that Hanna discovered the physical relationship between the two.
Anna moments before her execution on the 7th of August, 1890.
The executioner is second from the left, with the axe hidden behind his back.
Anna Månsdotter was executed the following year, making her the last woman to be executed in Sweden, while her son was eventually released from hard labour in prison before dying of tuberculosis in 1918.
(I apologise for the tiny print! I can’t make copied-and-pasted text bigger, and I need to copy and paste those Swedish words, because I can’t type them!)
The Great Seattle Fire occurred on the 6th of June, 1889.
A worker in Victor Clairmont’s cabinet-making shop near Front Street and Madison Avenue by the name of John E. Back was heating glue over a gasoline fire.
Unfortunately the glue boiled over, setting the woodchips alight. And – of course – when attempts were made to extinguish the fire with water it only became worse.
Start of the Great Seattle Fire, looking south on 1st Ave. near Madison St.
Seattle had had an unusually warm and dry spring, which had seemed like a good thing until the city centre had to contend with a big fire! Additionally, when the fire started to spread people were faced with a low supply of water, as at the time water was supplied by a private company and hydrants were hard to come by (you know how even now some politicians like to extoll the virtues of privatising everything…?).
Aftermath of the fire, looking east at the ruins of the Occidental Hotel at corner of James St. and Yesler Way.
The fire burned from 2:30pm to 3am, and by the time it was done twenty-five city blocks were destroyed and five thousand people lost their jobs. There was one fatality: a boy named James Goin.