1916 Lightning Storm


The following story by Kevin Scott Collier will appear in his next book.


Kevin has been the Art Director for the Grand Haven Tribune for 29 years.  He compiled a book that was published last September titled “Strange Grand Haven” (even though the book also covered Ferrysburg, Fruitport, Spring Lake, Nunica and Coopersville.)


His next "Strange Grand Haven" book is coming out in June.


You can check out Kevin’s website at the following address:



We wish to thank Kevin for allowing us to post this story to “nunica.com” even before his new book is published.

1916 Historic Nunica Lightning Storm

Strikes Many, Injures Baby in Crib

Compiled by Kevin Collier


It was called at the time the severest electrical storm ever experienced in Crockery Township at the time, a terrifying storm likely not seen since.


It began on the morning of Thursday, August 3, 1916 as a typical storm, but by the afternoon, had exploded into a monster casting lightning strikes throughout Nunica and the surrounding area.


News of the storm made the Grand Haven Tribune two days later, in the Saturday, August 5. edition. According to the newspaper, nearly every telephone in the section was put out of commission, and several people had been struck by lightning including a baby in its crib, but without a single death.


The Nunica postmaster's wife, Mrs. Fred Douck, was shocked by a bolt on her way home. The home of Charles Gibbs was struck, but no one was hurt. Lightning coming in over telephone lines entered the home of J. C. Needham, blowing a considerable amount of plaster off the walls.


The most horrifying story came from Asa Cooper's farmhouse in Crockery Township, where a little baby in a crib was badly burned from a lightning strike.


Just north of Nunica, The home of E. M. Rae encountered a blow to their residence shortly after 5 that afternoon. A lightning strike “tore down the chimney and ripped up a length of stove pipe.” The impact burned an oil cloth on the kitchen floor and blasted into the living area.


Mr. and Mrs. Rae were sitting in the front room of the home when the adjacent kitchen area “appeared to explode with a terrible crash.” The Tribune reported “both were still shocked and still feel the effect of the blast.”