Tornadoes of 1876

April 13, 1876
Counties:  Jefferson KY
F-scale:  F2
Deaths:  2
Injuries:  10
Path width:  50 yards
Path length:  3 miles
Time:  6:30pm
Narrative:  A tornado touched down west of present-day University of Louisville and moved to the north-northeast across eastern sections of the city.  The tornado struck the brand new baseball park, located where Saint James Court is today, built to host Louisville's new National League baseball team, the Louisville Grays.  The park was badly damaged, just 12 days before the season's Opening Day.  The park was quickly repaired and was ready to go in time for the first pitch.  The tornado continued northeast across the land that would become Central Park, and into Eagle Park between Ormsby and Park Avenues and Third and Fifth Streets.  Eagle Park was Louisville's baseball park before the new one to the south was constructed.  Eagle Park was demolished, and the baseball diamond's bleachers were destroyed.  Damage was then fairly sparse until the tornado entered the Germantown and Phoenix Hill neighborhoods.  Germantown was hardest hit.  A two story brick home was damaged "about as complete(ly) as it could possibly be" and a man and his son were killed in the home, on the northeast corner of Payne and Logan Streets (those streets do not intersect today, so this exact location is unknown).  Mills on Broadway at Beargrass Creek were wrecked.  Houses were severely damaged on Green Street (now Liberty Street) near Campbell.  Blacksmith shops on Preston "near the railroad crossing (?) were blown down.  Half a dozen houses were damaged on Milk Street (?) at Shelby Street.  The Exposition Building and its skating rink were damaged.  Light damage was reported on Walnut Street (now Muhammad Ali Blvd).   Most of the injuries in the tornado were in a street car that was hit by the roof of a house.  Click here for a detailed map of the approximate path of the tornado.


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