The largest earthquake in California history took place on 01/09/1857 in Fort Tejon. It occured on the San Andreas fault line. It had a magnitude of 7.9. It was spread out along a distance of 300 kilometeres.
Alternatively, the worst earthquake in California history was on April 18, 1906. It caused more than 3000 deaths, 400 million dollars of 1906 money daamge, and stretched out 270 miles along the San Andreas fault. It predates the richter scale, but is estimated at 8.25
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