April 6, 1936 Gainesville GA Tornado: Through the Lens of Lewis Reed

One of the deadliest tornadoes in American history hit Gainesville, Georgia on April 6, 1936. And Lewis Reed was there to capture the aftermath. On the 80th anniversary of this epic tornado, I have posted seven original snippets of history that Lewis Reed captured through the lens of his camera that day.

In 1936, two F4 tornadoes tore through the heart of town destroying much of the business district and the county courthouse, trapping hundreds in debris, before moving on to surrounding neighborhoods. The funnel fueled fires all over the area, including the Cooper Pants manufacturing company, where 60 employees were killed. The storm left more than 200 dead, 1,600 injured, 2,000 homeless and millions of dollars in damage. President Franklin Roosevelt toured the city three days later, and returned in 1938 to rededicate the courthouse and city hall after a massive citywide rebuilding effort.

Take a look at some of the sobering aftermath photos of the deadliest tornado to ever hit Georgia … through the lens of Lewis Reed. (click on images for slide show)

Source: Wikipedia – 1936 Tupelo–Gainesville tornado outbreak


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About Reed Brothers

I am a co-owner of the former Reed Brothers Dodge in Rockville, Maryland. Lewis Reed, the founder of Reed Brothers Dodge was my grandfather. We were a family-owned and operated car dealership in Rockville for almost a century. I served in the United States Air Force for 30 years before retiring in the top enlisted grade of Chief Master Sergeant in July 2006. In 2016, I received the Arthur M. Wagman Award for Historic Preservation Communication from Peerless Rockville for documenting the history of Reed Brothers Dodge in both blog and book format. This distinguished honor recognizes outstanding achievement by writers, educators, and historians whose work has heightened public awareness of Rockville’s architectural and cultural heritage, growth and development.

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