Showing posts with label Fire. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fire. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Acres of Ashes Carriage Hill Story of the Fire at Amesbury Massachusetts 1888

I added the PDF to my docs click link to open and view. If you have difficulty just send me your email.
Read Article Part 1 Article Fire Amesbury 1888
Part 2 Article Fire Amesbury 1888 
 Reports from the Automobile Trade Directory:
IN SPITE of FIRE, Amesbury shipped 1,122 carriages during the first half of the month of April. This does not look much like decrease of business.
THE HUME CARRIAGE Co., Amesbury, Mass., are preparing to erect a new building of brick, 117 ft. long and 60 ft. wide, with an L too ft. long and 45 ft. wide, four stories high.
PLENTY LEFT TO FILL ORDERS—F. D. Parry, of Amesbury, Mass., writes (April 17th): “It is not generally known that I lost 60 carriages in the great fire, worth about $10,000; but I wish it understood that l have plenty left to fill all orders, as my factory was not burned. I was fairly insured.”
COMPLIMENTARY DINNER.—On Saturday evening. April 14th, Messrs. Drummond, Taylor & Co., of Amesbury, gave a complimentary dinner to their employés, in token of appreciation of the effective services of the latter in saving their great carriage works from destruction during the late fire. The speaking which followed the dinner is reported as having been particularly appropriate and stirring.
ONLY SCORCHED.–Messrs. Drummond, Taylor & Co., carriage builders, of Amesbury, Mass., write us (April 9th) that, although they were pretty well scorched during the late fire, they had not a building injured internally, and are in as good a position as ever to fill orders. We sincerely trust that they and our other Amesbury friends will receive their full share of spring orders, and promptly too.
JOHN H. CLARK & Co., Amesbury, Mass., have bought the lot formerly occupied by N. H. Folger and a part of that occupied by A. N. Parry Co., and will erect at once a building 120 ft. long by Go ft. wide three stories high, making it as nearly fire-proof as possible. They will restore the building, the walls of which are standing. They propose having one of the best equipped carriage factories in the country.
REAL-ESTATE TRANSFERS have been numerous in Amesbury since the fire. F. A. Babcock & Co. have purchased the disputed territory near their old shop, of James Hume. John H. Clark & Co. have purchased of James Hume the land upon which N. H. Folger's factory stood, and will build thereon. A. N. Parry & Co. have disposed of their lot to Lambert Hollander, who gives notice that he will rebuild at once.
AFTER THE FIRE.—The work of reconstruction at Amesbury was begun at once. The Hume Carriage Co. erected a temporary office, and had it completed and occupied on Monday morning. F. A. Babcock & Co. moved the office of Locke & Jewell on their ground, and occupied it Monday morning. Early on Monday George F. Pike began to rebuild the partiallyburned storehouse of the Hume Carriage Co., and the firm continued work during the following week. The first building on the hill was erected by Mr. Hume, and, after twenty years, the first to go up after the fire, was built by the same man. Emmons Babb also commenced the erection of a temporary blacksmithshop, 140 feet long, for F. A. Babcock & Co.
NOT BURNED.—Three carriage factories, those of Drummond, Taylor & Co., Osgood Morrill and Walton & Colquhoun, are all that are left of the once flourishing colony on Carriage Hill in Amesbury. But in the town are the following firms: Biddle, Smart & Co., Folger & Drummond, C. W. Long & Co., S. Rowell & Son, G. W. Marden, W. G. Ellis & Sons, Charles Rowell & Son, Geo. W. Osgood, Briggs Carriage Co., E. S. Feltch & Co., B. F. Lewis, Chesley, Shiels & Co., Rowell & Neal, A. P. Boardman, F. D. Parry, Locke & Jewell, J. F. Esten & Son, Seth Clark, T. W. Lane, M. T. Bird, John Carr. S. R. Bailey & Co. make sleighs: and, in carriage-parts, the following firms do business: Currier, Cameron & Co., carriages in the wood and iron; Francis & Smith, bodies; D J. Marston, wheels; Wells & Spofford, bodies; and Biddle, Smart & Co., bodies and gears.

New York Extends Sympathy to Amesbury: The following communication speaks for itself: “Syracuse, N.Y., April 9th, 1888. At a meeting of the Carriage Builders' Association of the State of New-York, held this day, at Syracuse, N. Y., the undersigned were named as a committee to draft resolutions extending the sympathy of this Association o the carriage builders of Amesbury, Mass., who recently suffered so severely by fire. ... We therefore submit the following, a copy of which has been mailed to each of the houses burned out. Whereas: A number of our fellow carriage-builders in Amesbury have severely suffered from fire, and, appreciating the magnitude of the loss to them, and the difficulties, delays, expense and labor to which they will be subjected before their losses can be repaired, be it Resolved: That the sympathy of the Carriage Builders' Association of the State of New-York is due and hereby tendered to the firms suffering from the effects of the Amesbury fire; and that each member pledges himself as an individual, and as a member of this Association, to do everything in his power to assist the sufferers in every possible manner to overcome the difficulties so suddenly thrust upon them. (Signed): W. C. Bradley and K. A. Hughson, Committee.”

Carriage Industry Remembered
Coach Built 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

A December tragedy in downtown Newburyport

Joe Callahan | Posted: Thursday, December 11, 2014 3:00 am 

View from Inn Street looking towards Tracy Place, the E. P. Dodge Shoe Factory Photo from Clipper Heritage Trail
Monday, Dec. 27, 1880 started out as a good day in Newburyport. The weather was fine, the Christmas weekend was over and the school kids had a few days’ vacation. People were back to work and the shops were unusually busy for that time of the year.
However, before the day was over, a tragedy in the downtown would cost four lives and cast a pall of sadness over the entire city.
Close to 1,000 people were employed in the four-story brick factory that extended from Pleasant Street to Prince Place. The E.P. Dodge Shoe Company and the N.D. Dodge Shoe Company each employed well over 400 and a yarn shop employed 60. The length of the building had been extended to Prince Place earlier that year and a new chimney was built and two new boilers were installed in the boiler house attached to the west side of the building.
Thomas P. Harrington was the engineer in charge of the boilers. He was from South Boston and only had been employed for about a month. Some of the locals were skeptical about his engineering abilities, but many others gave him high marks. Mr. Harrington’s wife and young son had spent the weekend in Newburyport and were planning to move there soon.
The mood of the day changed at 12:45 that afternoon when the two new boilers exploded with great force and a blast that was heard and felt through most of the city. The boilers and the boiler house were blown to pieces. Besides the four deaths, over two dozen other persons were injured. Extensive damage was done to many nearby buildings, as bricks from the boiler house and parts from the boilers became lethal weapons as they flew in all directions. Parts of the boiler struck a house on Green Street. Windows were shattered all over the entire area.
When the dust and live steam had cleared, a search of the debris looking for survivors was started and soon the body of Mr. Harrington was found. Soon after Daniel Bridges Jr., age 40, was found, he died shortly after being taken to a neighborhood home. Bridges worked in the factory and it was thought he was in the boiler house visiting Mr. Harrington on his noon break. John Bailey, age 30, was employed at the heel shop of Waldo Smith on Hales Court. He was standing near a window and died instantly when struck by a brick.
Ten-year-old Oscar Salkins was on school vacation. He was sitting in Chases Heel Shop on Hales Court where he always visited and was known to all the workers. Oscar was also struck by a brick. He was carried to his nearby home, where he died that evening.
Mrs. Harrington and her son had returned to Boston that morning. Following the accident, no one knew how to contact her; nobody knew the family address in Boston. She first learned of her husband’s death from a neighbor who read about the accident in a Boston paper the following morning.
Following the tragedy, an inquest was held to determine the cause. Many experts were called to testify and many different opinions were given; but without any survivors from the boiler house, no decision could be reached.
The new chimney that I mentioned was completed in May of 1880. On the chimney still standing at the site you can see the date 1880 in the brick work facing Prince Place. In the papers after the incident there is no mention of the chimney. Being so close to the origin of the disaster, it is hard to believe it was not toppled.

Railroad depot on left and the E. P. Dodge Shoe Company in the center. Courtesy of the Newburyport Public Library Archival Center.

Portrait of Elisha P. Dodge. History of Newburyport, Massachusetts by John J. Currier.

Joe Callahan is a former fire chief of Salisbury who is interested in historical accounts of the area.