Eliza Bryan was a young woman at the time of the 1811-12 New Madrid earthqakes. She lived with her family about two miles from the New Madrid settlement. In 1815, she wrote her recollections, saying:
"I have put down precisely what I saw and felt back in 1811 and 12, as it was burned into my memory everything that happened. We had been in bed about four hours. About 2 o'clock we were visited by a violent shock of an earthquake accompanied by a terrible noise..."
On December 9 and 10, 2011 at 7:00 pm at the Dixie Theater in New Madrid, Missouri, hear Eliza herself continue the story of surviving this terrible ordeal and life at that time in New Madrid. Eliza is telling her experiences through the help of Marian McDonald. Marian grew up in Kennett, Missouri raised on the oral traditions of the 1811-12 earthquakes. Trained first as a teacher and then as a nurse, Marian has lived for the last 40 years in California, volunteering with the Red Cross and teaching earthquake preparedness since the early 1980s. She was a first responder to the Loma Prieta earthquake near San Francisco in 1989. Now living in Kennett part-time, she brings her combination of Southeast Missouri common sense with 40 years of California earthquake preparedness to help relate this story and also to remind everyone to always be prepared.
Eliza will be joined on stage with 21st century scientist, Dr. David Stewart, who is a well-known New Madrid earthquake scientist, holding a M.S. and Ph.D in Geophysics and is a private consultant on seismic risk and damage assessment to the government, insurance companies and industry. He is also the author of several books on the subject of earthquakes.
Following the presentation, everyone is invited to the grand opening of the New Madrid Historical Museum's "THE GREAT QUAKES OF 1811 and 1812" exhibit. THe exhibit will tell the story of how quakes are formed, 1811-12 history, present day ramifications, economic effects and preparation. You can build your own earthquake-resistant house, use a stomp table to make your own quake, hear phone messages from survivors and see a real time monitor of quakes on "our fault" as well as all over the world.