Dorothy Fowlers work, A Most Dreadful Earthquake: A First-Hand Account of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire presents the vivid personal letters of a young San Francisco woman to her sweetheart in Schenectady. The ribbon-bound packet of forty faded letters, written between February and July 1906, turned up in the archives of California Genealogical Society in 1998, with little to identify the writers or how the letters came to the society. Now, 100 years later, Dorothy Fowler details how she painstakingly searched to find out more about Miss Sarah Phillips and the Mr. Jones she planned to marry. Sarahs account begins dramatically in the early hours of April 18, 1906, when we were awaked by a most dreadful earthquake. Through the letters, Fowler follows Sarah and three other correspondents as the events of that hectic summer unfold, providing an unusual opportunity for 21st century readers.