1938 Hurricane

My Mom, Rachel “Addie” Wilcox, took the time to write up her recollections of the 1938 Hurricane.

Yes, I very well remember the 1938 hurricane. I was 12 years old, in the 7th grade, and remember the leaves blowing in the school windows and way across the room.

There were no warning systems, radios, etc. to let us know. We left for home at the usual time and found we couldn’t get through our road for the bus to get us through. One of the boys went home and got an axe and came back and chopped the tree down so we could get through.

We didn’t have electricity so didn’t worry about losing that, but my parents’ chicken coops were tossed about (chickens still in them). My father was out trying to catch them and put them in with the other chickens. He was very upset and nearly ill from being out in the wind. He was 62 at the time. Horseneck Beach, where you’ve probably been with Chet, was completely destroyed. It was a heavily populated beach, houses close together. The tidal wave [storm surge] that came in with the hurricane took several houses and floated them up to the dunes. People on higher ground saw the tidal wave come in and said it was tremendous. I do not remember just how tall they said it was, but one of the houses was deposited on a tall sand dune, and after the storm the owners went into the house teetering on the dune and found dishes still sitting on the shelves, intact!!!

The storm was in September so that most of the summer folks had left, but those that were still there did not survive. Most of the houses were never found, and the beautiful beach was destroyed. It had always been a sandy, large beach. Not many people ever built on it again, and there were several hurricanes after that that did some damage to it, but nothing like the 1938 one.

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5 Replies to “1938 Hurricane”

  1. I have lots of information on the Hurricane of ’38. My aunts/uncle and parents also experienced this hurricane (The Hurricane with No Name). I have put something of “book” together from my mom’s side of the family. One of the stories is about such hurricane. One of my uncles was with his grandfather at Nantasket Beach (they were “clamming”). When they got to the beach, there was no ocean. As far as they could see was just mud. My great-grandfather said that he had never seen such a thing and that they should leave right away. Away they did go and by the time they got home there was a full-fledged hurricane. I believe it was the worse hurricane ever. The tidal wave was reported to be about 40 feet high and wiped out an entire beach in Rhode Island (I have pictures of this also).

  2. My late grandmother, Helen Wilcox Parsons, lost a brother who drowned in that hurricane on Horseneck Beach. Very sad but she recalled great summers on that beach. I would love to see some of the research on the hurricane, especially as it pertains to the Wilcox family. Best wishes to all the Wilcox family in any case.

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