The Boston Globe reported on July 26, 1890 that "At first the trees swayed a little and the grain bent down on the hills. Then shingles flew off from old roofs and the orchards sent down their unripe fruit. After about 30 seconds of an avalanche of wind broke and came tearing down upon the tenement houses and workshops and stores with the force of a Niagara. Big elms and maples that were planted with care away back in the days of the Salem witches, bowed their graceful tops to the streets, and snapped off near the roots as if they had been of chalk. Fences were lifted from trimly kept gardens and taken away to the estate of neighbors, 200 yards distant, and outhouses fell like grain before the reaper.” On July 26, 1890, what was described as a tornado or cyclone swept down upon South Lawrence, Massachusetts. This event can be described in today's terms as a brief tornado or a powerful microburst, which is a sudden downdraft of air over a small geographic area. The Lawrence tornado, called the “Great Cyclone,” struck South Lawrence at 9:10 to 9:15 AM on Saturday, July 26, 1890. It took about two minutes to pass through any point. Damages were estimated at about $60,000. Eight people were killed and 65 were injured.
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