de Young Attendance Register—April 18, 1906

In recognition of the 103rd anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, we're pleased to present a guest post by FAMSF assistant registrar Steven F. Correll.

Last December when several of the Fine Arts Museums registrars were looking through the de Young's offsite storage facility, senior registrar Stephen Lockwood found a series of ledger books that record the weather and daily attendance for the de Young beginning with its opening day in the 19th century. As we looked through the books, one particular ledger was most interesting:

"Tuesday, April 17th, 1906. Fine, warm, pleasant day. Attendance: 928."

The next day had a very different entry:

"5:15 AM, Wednesday, April 18/06. Terrific Earthquake which demolished the building and destroyed many of the exhibits. --John W. Rogers, Curator"

Below the ledger entry Rogers added the note: "Museum closed indefinitely."

The next entry to appear in the ledger is: "Sunday, November 10, 1907.  Cold and cloudy."

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