"The Picture Was Incredible"


At 4 p.m. on September 21, 1938, about an hour after the end of opening convocation in Johnson Chapel, the great 1938 Hurricane struck Amherst with almost no advance warning. It raged for three hours. No one was injured, but 134 campus trees were toppled, buildings were damaged and cars were crushed. Classes were cancelled the next day as President Stanley King rallied the student body for cleanup duty. "All our buildings were standing," he wrote later, "but roofs were gone, windows blown out, trees were down, and all campus roads and paths were blocked. The picture was incredible." In this photo looking south from College Row, workmen from a local road-building firm, Warner Brothers & Goodwin, finish removing stumps from the Main Quadrangle. Stearns Church, which appears in the distance, was torn down 10 years later to make way for the Mead Art Building.

Photo: College Archives and Special Collections