Paths of Destruction - The Story of West Michigan's Worst Natural Disaster: The Tornadoes of April 3, 1956 with DVD

by Ernie Ostuno

Price: $29.95 ($23.96 for Historical Society members)
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With material collected by author Ernie Ostuno, an employee of the National Weather Service, the book includes:

  • a narrative of the events that day
  • newspaper headlines, maps, and photos
  • over 100 personal remembrances
  • DVD including interviews with witnesses and footage from home movies

Four tornados struck West Michigan that horrific day, including the most powerful and deadly tornado in placeWest Michigan history. Eighteen people were killed and over 300 injured.

“ ... Then we saw this giant tree rise up from the ground in slow motion, pulling its roots with it, along with big chunks of cement. It rose up about three feet in the air and slowly lay down to the north, just missing the garage.”
—  Eugene Schoeneich

“ ... Everywhere I looked there was utter destruction, and everywhere another picture ... Surprisingly, there were a number of armed National Guardsmen already on duty to curb any problems and I was constantly having to prove that I was a legitimate newsperson.”
— Henry F. Zeman, photojournalist, The Grand Rapids Press

“ ... Then the windows exploded and doors flew off their hinges, and as I crouched on the living room floor, I saw a wall disintegrating as it fell toward me.”
— Maxine (Brower) Baker

Mailing Address
Grand Rapids Historical Society
c/o Grand Rapids Public Library

111 Library St NE FL 4
Grand Rapids MI 49503-3268

(616) 988-5497 GRPL

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