BERMUDEZ, Herman

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Miners' ride to the quarry, Avalon, Santa Catalina Island, 1934
Quarry disaster, November 12, 1934

BERMUDEZ, Herman (1902-1934), born in Guanajuato, Mexico on May 27, 1902, the son of Santiago Bermudez (1878-1947) and Paulina Chavez (d. 1903.)

Herman was one of eight men killed in an explosion accident at the Rohl-Connolly rock quarry on November 12, 1934.

Herman Bermudez is buried in Avalon Cemetery, Santa Catalina Island. Apparently he is without headstone.



In the News~

November 15, 1934 [TI/Avalon]: “One man was killed instantly, and seven others were fatally burned, Monday at 11:00 A.M., when fifty cans of black powder burst into flames at the Rohl-Connolly rock quarry, two miles from Avalon. The dead: Tom Halborson, 51; Kenneth E. Smith, 22; Mannuel Flores, 20; Pete Hansen, 56; Angel Hernandez, 28; Russell Landers, 49; Herman Bermudes, 33; Marion Hall, 22. Oscar Larson, foreman of the group, who was standing near the powder fire, leaped into the ocean and extinguished the flames on his clothing. Three other men who were in the ‘Coyote Hole’ loading the powder for a blast were not injured. At the time of the accident the men were transferring the 25-pound cans into sacks and taking the sacks into the tunnel. Foreman Larson said: ‘To avoid any friction that might occasion sparks, we were opening the cans with pieces of wood, and all of us wore padding about our shoes to avoid sparks resulting from our shoes striking rocks. There was no fire nor smoking of any kind.’ No eye-witness to the origin of the fire remained after death had taken its toll of eight men. The burning powder flared up for almost 300 feet, and left a cloud of black smoke surrounding the burned victims…”


November 22, 1934 [TI/Avalon]: “The Mexican Hall at the head of Tremont Avenue was not large enough to hold the number of relatives, friends and citizens who gathered there Friday forenoon to attend the joint funeral services for Herman Bermudez, Angel Hernandez and Manuel Flores, three young Mexicans who were among the eight workmen killed by the powder explosion at the Catalina Quarry last week. These boys had been residents of Avalon for various lengths of time — some since mere lads. The attendance of city officials ad other citizens testified their sympathy for and with the friends and relatives of the deceased. Ivy Overholtzer, of 1719 South Flower, Los Angeles, was in charge of the funeral arrangements, and did his part in the thorough and careful manner for which his name is a synonym when such sad rites are necessary. His extensive acquaintance in Avalon and notable sympathy with those who mourn, fits him especially for work in this city. Father Porfirio Cornides came over from Wilmington to perform the religious ceremony of the Catholic Church. A solemn mass was sung Friday morning, following which the funeral cortege was formed, preceded by officers of the Avalon Police department and City Manager Pollok… The deceased were Angel Hernandez, aged 28, who leaves, besides his parents and seven brothers, a wife and four children — all under four years of age. Manuel Flores, aged 20, leaves a widowed mother and one sister. Herman Bermudez, aged 34, leaves a father and five brothers — all minors.”