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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 81, July 1977 - April, 1978

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

old Rhode Island; and that Texas hosts (and boasts of) more tornadoes
than any other state. Weems looks at the folklore that has developed
about tornadoes, and he describes their freakish behavior, their speed,
sound, color, and even their odor.
Apparently Waco found its soul through the great tornado. The pre-
storm city, as sketched by Weems, was ugly, smug, and unprogressive,
but Waco recovered from its ordeal with spirit and vision and replaced
its storm-scarred central district with tasteful projects of urban renewal.
Unfortunately, such disasters also bring to the survivors tragic psycho-
logical traumas that are not so easily "bull-dozed" away.
There are useful lessons to be learned from Weems's study, especially
about the value of reinforced steel in construction. Artemas Roberts's
towering Amicable Building stood right in the path of the storm, but
thanks to its heavy steel reinforcement it came through intact while all
around it lay the tragic rubble of brick and mortar buildings. Weems
outlines precautions which individuals and communities can take
against tornadoes. Few who read this gripping book are likely to ignore
his suggestions.
The Flight of the Grand Eagle: Charles G. Bryant, Maine Architect
Adventurer. By James H. Mundy and Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr.
(Augusta, Maine: Maine Historic Preservation Commission, 1977.
Pp. i+155. Preface, introduction, illustrations, bibliography, ap-
pendix, index.)
The work and adventures of Charles G. Bryant, a nineteenth-century
masterbuilder, were discovered in 1972 by the authors while preparing
a National Register nomination for a historic district in Bangor, Maine.
Subsequent research produced information about a man who lived and
worked in Maine, then in Texas, and who had been virtually obscured
by history. At the same time the authors corrected a few long-standing
errors relative to the names of designers of several prominent American
buildings. For example, the Bangor House Hotel in Bangor, Maine,
was designed by Bryant, rather than the famous Isaiah Rogers; and the
Samuel Farrar House also was designed by Bryant rather than Richard
Upjohn, as indicated by numerous prominent architectural historians.
Born in 1803 in Maine, Bryant was a restless, multi-talented individ-
ual. Although knowledge of much of his education is suppositional, he
became a masterbuilder, or housewright, who designed a number of


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 81, July 1977 - April, 1978. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 5, 2016.

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