Fall of a Meteor at Red-Heat Upon the Bosom of Muskegon Lake
Thursday, August 03, 1882
Vessels arriving in Chicago yesterday report a most remarkable occurrence at Muskegon on Friday night. At midnight there was an awful shock heard throughout the whole city, accompanied by a bright, sulphuric light, which illuminated the entire surroundings. Crews of craft in the harbor sprang from their bunks and citizens, terribly alarmed, rushed to the windows. Many supposed that a severe thunderstorm had burst upon them; others thought that the greal boilders of some of the numerous immense milles had exploded, and not a few attributed the deafening report to the first crash of "the wreck of matter and crush of worlds." When the people ventured out shortly afterward, however, they beheld one of the most calm and beautiful moonlight nights ever witnessed. The only explaination of the mystery is that a great aerolite fell into Muskegon Lake.
The following is from the Muskegon Chronicle, received in Chicago last night: "The great mystery is solved by the statement of persons employed in and about the mills in the lower part of the city. They say that a large ball of fire fell from Muskegon Lake seemingly striking its surface three or four hundred feet from the shore. James Fisk felt the shock perceptibly and Mr. Archibald Lee was 'shaken up' by it; both of these parties were on the Western avenue at the time. Messrs. Frank Johnson, Levi Reardsley, Charles C. Moulton and Fred Miller, all of whom lodge on Western avenue, state that the buildings in which they have rooms were shaken by the explosion. Mr. Hugh Leonard, the druggist of 'lower town,' who had just retired to his room on Western avenue, states as follows: 'I saw the glare, and it seemed as though the entire light was concentraded in my room. At first it appeared as though my window curtains were wrapt in flames.' Where the aerolite struck there was a great commotion, 'as though a ton of solid substance had fallen into it from a great heigh.' It is currently believed that a great meteoric stone fell, and it may be well for steamers and sailing vessels to be guarded for the present whilepassing the point where the stone is supposed to have struck."
A clue to the source of the fantastic meteorite stories may be found in the report An Aerolite Liar - June 24, 1886
Also see Mark Bostick's Meteorite Articles