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Revised list of topics
Revised list of topics

Revised Jan. 10, 2009

Welcome to the list of topics. You can call them subject headings or tags - they offer you another method of searching the Franklin County Publication Archive site. Interested in accident victims in Athol? Click on the tag below for Accident Victims and find a list of articles dating from Jan. 1, 1870 to August , 1875. Once on the page of articles, then use your Find command to  pull up all articles mentioning Athol.

The search engine is being revamped by the wonderful and highly overworked Mik Muller. Once it is completed, you will be able to search for multiple subjects or terms by simply dividing terms with a comma in the search box. Example: Jones, Deerfield, Births   That should give you a nice listing of all Joneses born in Deerfield during the time period mentioned above. Another way to search it will be to choose the terms Deerfield and Births from the drop down box and add Jones to the search box. Voila!

ACCIDENT VICTIMS     Here reside the fatalities, not the regular every day deaths. Industrial accidents, drownings, death by fire, train, loose circus animals, accidental shootings, and freak accidents.

     Much more run of the mill stuff here, and not even fatal, at least in most cases. Many of these articles concern runaway horses, falls and narrow escapes.

   One of my favorite sections. Classified ads are also included here.

   Everything is covered here. Articles deal with slavery, racism, lynchings, and the like, but it is noteworthy to see that many articles are not racist in content.

AMUSEMENTS  is kind of a catch-all, but primarily concerns fun stuff done for amusement - picnics, parades, croquet games, tableaux, taffy pulling, sleigh rides, masquerade parties, sociables, shadow pantomimes - you get the idea.

ANIMALS / REPTILES  From the barnyard to the circus, to the hunted, to cats and dogs. Horses have their own category. I regret now that I did not create a subject heading for cruelty to animals, but those articles are also included here.

ARABS  Exotic stuff here. Turkey, Palestine, harems, whirling dervishes, reflecting the fascination for the Middle East and all its customs and traditions in the 1870s.

  is a mixed bag of accidental findings - like the dinosaur footprints in the Connecticut River bed in Turners Falls, to old burial sites of Native Americans [which were treated with appalling lack of respect]. "Humbugs" like the Cardiff giant are also included here, as well as accidental finding of treasure.

ARCHITECTURE / CONSTRUCTION  Styles of buildings, as well as the building of houses, larger buildings, bridges, train tracks, etc.

ART    contains the sublime, and the mundane. Famous statues and portraits are always being commissioned. It was also during this time period that art classes began to be required in the schools.


    Post Lincoln.

ASTRONOMY   Rare astronomical events, aurora borealis, miracles, meteors, solar eclipses - and the more mundane, references to the sun, moon, stars, planets, etc.


   includes not only the establishment itself, but also all references to hair, wigs, bald heads, medicine to grow hair, hair dyes, etc.

   Pretty much portrayed as den of iniquities. The Gazette & Courier is very much pro temperance.



   Anything drinkable. Includes water, milk, soda, coffee, tea, cider, as well as beer, liquor, etc.

BICYCLES AND BICYCLING - The craze hasn’t hit yet.  When it does, though, we’re on top of it!

BIRDS   All kinds of birds, many articles related to hunting. Hen stories abound as well, with some hens laying eggs that are 8 inches wide! [I pity the poor bird].

   A really sad section, since birth control in this time period only relates to mothers killing their newborns, to botched illegal abortions, etc.

   Are prolific. Many names, usually only of the proud father, are repeated each year. Of course the matching obituaries contain many of these infants as well. All cases of multiple births worldwide are listed.


   Free bridges, toll bridges, railroad bridges, etc.

   Any new business, old business, capitalist venture, etc. is covered.

    Women are people too!


CANALS - past their heydey (1830’s and 40’s) but still around and of interest.

CARICATURES AND CARTOONS - Haven’t started yet but I am awaiting them with great anticipation.


CHARITY   One of the main reasons fraternal clubs and organizations came into being.


  Only the very worst cases ever make it into print.

CHILDREN - They’re everywhere of course - families are huge, 15 children being a normal size. But the youth culture has not taken hold - one mostly hears about children having accidents or dying, or around Christmas time, or in school.

CHINA AND CHINESE   None locally as yet, but plenty of interest in the national news.

CIRCUS - One of my favorite sections. The hype, the sound, the fun! The ads are exceptional.

CLUBS   There are clubs for everything; they serve a major community function. Remember, no TV’s, no radios, etc.




CONNECTICUT RIVER - The important one. All others are in one section entitled RIVERS.

CONSERVATION OF NATURAL RESOURCES - Hasn’t dawned on them too much, even though they are familiar with Thoreau’s work.

   Base ball games (we call ’em baseball) becoming popular. Bets and wagers always a part of our society. We’ve got walking contests, horse races, tobacco stripping contests, girls splitting hard wood slabs, which hen can lay the biggest egg, who can grow the tallest corn stalk, etc.


- Soaps, hairdyes, perfumes, face creams, etc.

COURTS  One of the largest sections. Look here for all criminal activity.

- The path of true love did not run smoothly, even in the old days. Poems and stories abound, even personal ads (very high-toned ones, of course). Murders and scandals are not uncommon, as well.

- Ah crime! There’s some of everything here, some of it salacious, much of it fines for drunkenness.

- Not everyone who commits a crime is a criminal. I reserved this area for people like serial poisoners, bank robbers, desperados, outlaws [like Red-Handed Dick and Henry Berry Lowery].

CULTS - Oh yes, they existed back then, and were just as troublesome. Read about Adventists, proponents of Free Loveism, Millerism, the Shakers, the Christian Israelites, the Nazarites, and the Howling Dervishes [Hmm, great name for a rock band].

is a great catchall section, and one of my favorites [of course]. Here you will read about human and animal abnormalities - a youth with three legs and four feet, a lizard living in a man’s stomach, a three horned and three eyed ox, a living skeleton, a four legged chicken - well, you get the idea ;-).

- Very important to Greenfield and Turners Falls history.

DANCE - Many kinds of dancing available for the young and the old. From Balls to Belly Dancers.


- We always have them. However, they don’t have the immediacy that they do nowadays in today’s news. Read about the great Chicago fire of 1871, the great Boston fire of 1872, shipwrecks, earthquakes, floods and explosions.

DISEASES - We’ve got a million of ’em.

- the Court makes you jump through hoops, wait years, etc., but divorces do happen.

DREAMS AND SLEEP - Sleep and sleep disorders also included here.

- From sulphuric ether, to tobacco, chloral, opium and laudanum.



ECONOMICS - Not one of my favorite subjects, but you will find here any articles about money, banks, every day economics, etc.

- a special place for UMass, then the Agricultural College.

ELECTIONS - only the major ones.

EMIGRATION AND IMMIGRATION - New England still pretty unhomogenous, but there are sections about German, Chinese and Irish migrations.

- Still a strong connection to the homeland.


ETIQUETTE - Always a topic of interest for the Victorians.


EXECUTIONS AND EXECUTIONERS - A morbid but interesting section.

EXPLORERS - A great time period for exploration. We have Dr. Livingston, Arctic explorers, and more.

EYE - Blindness, accidents, eyeglasses, sore eyes, etc.

FAIRS - held bout once a week - the favorite moneymaker of the women’s church groups. Then there’s the County Fairs, which are covered as thoroughly as possible.

FAMILY - Family reunions, loving families, insane families, incest, and more. Very useful for genealogists.

FARMERS AND FARMING - A hot topic in the 19th century. Also covers tobacco and fertilizers.

- A fun section. Sunbonnets, French kid gloves, waterproof dress goods, garters, corsets, wigs, demi-trains, false insteps, shawls, plaid poplins, striped stockings, chignons, Chinese grass cloth, kilting, etc.

FIRES - There are so many, and so few ways to put them out, that it’s a wonder that any buildings survived the 19th century at all. I had to be very exclusive, and only cover those fires of local and international interest.

FISHES AND FISHING - You can get a barrel of oysters delivered right to your door, andthey are "the" Sunday breakfast.

FLOODS - Also quite prevalent.

FOOD - For the gourmet and the every day eater. This section is large and all inclusive. Includes some recipes and all restaurant ads.

FREEMASONRY - A group deserving of their own section.

- Many influences here, from the Mansard or "French" roofs, stationary, corsets, pottery, jewelry, the Franco-Prussian War, etc.

- Wooden items, [and what wood! Black walnut, solid ash, walnut, chestnut] beds and sofas [occasionally covered with haircloth], and some interesting articles about Gardner, Mass., the "chair capital of the world".

GAMBLING - One of the oldest vices. Chinese gambling houses, dog-pits, bets, every day chance taking.

GANGS - Not the Bloods and the Crips, but the homegrown Tough End boys, roughs and rowdies, brigands and juvenile delinquents.

GARBAGE - Remember that this is pre-plastic (in most respects) and that the necessity for community trash dumps is not an issue yet. Most, or all farmers, keep an iron and glass scrap heap somewhere in the back forty - a practice which still occurs today. Some articles do concern garbage - rubbish littering the streets, a city without sewers, ash barrels, etc.

GAYS - ah, this is a tough but rewarding section, where I’ve had to "read between the lines" quite a bit. Included here are men who dressed as women, and women who dressed as men [with the understanding that, especially in women’s cases, this could have been done for economic and other reasons]. Famous figures like Oscar Wilde, Susan B. Anthony and Anna Dickinson are the meat and potatoes of this section.

- one of the more recent additions, includes topographical surveys, maps, tourist type articles, etc.

GERMANS - Nice to see this ethnic group portrayed in such a positive light. Local Germans are hard working, athletic, happy, beer drinkers who do not get drunk, like to compete in gymnastic contests, love to dance, etc.


GLASS - a particular favorite of mine, since I dig for, and collect old glass embossed bottles. Bottles, window glass, demi-johns, looking glasses, etc. As time allows, I will scan in some of my "dug" antique bottles for your viewing pleasure.

- usually Presidents, Congress, and taxes, new states and territories. Many other government related articles will be found under POLITICS.



GYPSIES - always a few passing through, telling fortunes, trading horses, stealing chickens, and kidnapping local children.

HAMPSHIRE & HAMPDEN COUNTIES (MA)    A catch all section for all those towns not privileged to be in Franklin County, and yet covered fairly thoroughly here. So look for articles on Amherst, Northampton, and the Massachusetts Agricultural College (the earlier name of the University of Massachusetts).

HANDICAPPED - the blind, the deaf, the lame, the insane - all find a home here. Cork legs, poor houses and alms-houses, deformed infants, hunchbacks, etc.



HERITAGE ACTIVITIES - will come into their own a little later. For now, centennial celebrations are included here.

HISPANICS - another catchall heading. Latin American activities, as well as Spanish Peninsular items. This subject heading will probably be combined with LATIN AMERICA eventually.

HISTORY - well, it’s all history to us, right? But included here are items which were of historic interest to the inhabitants of the 1870’s - the early days of Greenfield, Deerfield, and Montague; the founding of historical organizations, like the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, and genealogical family histories.

HOLIDAYS - not much different from today’s celebrations. Of course the 4th of July was a maelstrom of fireworks and severed limbs, and Christmas advertising did not occur untilthe two issues before Dec. 25th. Sabbath Schools all had their holiday celebrations, complete with Christmas trees and a song fest, and Valentine’s Day had already started its decline into ignorant and joke cards. Washington’s birthday, All Fool’s Day, May Day, Thanksgiving, New Year’s Day, and Memorial Day are all represented. No sign of Halloween yet.

is rapidly nearing completion. Read about the 19th century version of the "Big Dig".

- I find this section absolutely fascinating. The vital importance of horses for all transportation needs is clearly shown, especially during the "Horse Disease"(Epizootic) of 1872. You either rassled up an oxen or goat, or you walked - in those places not accessible by train, of course.

HOTELS - There’s not that many of them, but they know how to do it up in style, and are a vital part of the town’s culture. This is the era when enormous resort hotels are springing up, and the concept of vacations are taking hold in the middle and upper classes.

is a broad subject; I mainly went by the rule of thumb of what occurred inside a dwelling. Houses were the domain of women, and so items made specifically for women, like sewing machines, find a home here. Hints on cookery and thrift, as well as kitchen appliances also find a home here ;-). Ah yes, the world of washing, ironing, canning, and child rearing.

HUNGARIANS - Why the Hungarians, you say? Well, this is one of those personal interest type headings, since I am half Hungarian.

ICE - a big business, back in the days of pre-refrigeration. Ice was "harvested" from local lakes, and kept cool in warehouses, to be sold in blocks throughout the warm months. Also included here are frozen over rivers and ponds, ice skating, and ice used for drinks and preserving food.




















Jun 30, 2022
Franklin County (MA) News Archive
The Franklin County Publication Archive Index

To search for a particular subject term, click on the highlighted link containing that term at the bottom of the article. For example, if you are seeking more articles about animals, click on the highlighted link which says Animals/Reptiles/Amphibians.

Article Archives: Articles: Floods

Showing 25

Posted by stew - Tue, Feb 3, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 30, 1875

The usually reliable Hampshire Gazette publishes the following item, under the head of Franklin County":

"A man named Louis Burke, who lived at Burkesville, a few days ago indulged in very blasphemous language because his crops had been ruined by high water. He cursed God for having his crops destroyed last year by heat and drought, and for destroying them this year by the flood, and concluded his blasphemy of the Creator with the expression "God damn him!" His tongue clove to the roof of his mouth and he died the next night, never uttering another word".

Now this was not a Franklin County man at all, but a resident of Burkesville, Ky.; and what is more, the wicked blasphemer is said to be still alive. The God fearing people of our own Burkville, Conway, have good reason to resent any such imputation.

[See Blasphemy in Wikipedia].

Subjects: Conway (MA), Farmers & Farming / Flowers, Floods, Hampshire / Hampden Counties, Literature / Web Pages, Names, Obituaries, Religion, Weather, Words

Posted by stew - Sat, Jan 17, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 23, 1875
Shelburne Falls

We are glad to know that the Newell brothers have made arrangements with the manager of the peach train at Springfield, to have fresh peaches sent them every day.

Subjects: Business Enterprises, Family, Floods, Hampshire / Hampden Counties, Shelburne and Shelburne Falls (MA), Stores, Retail, Trains, Transportation

Posted by stew - Sat, Jan 17, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 23, 1875

The freshet of last week did more damage than it was at first expected, especially in the northeast part. The road up the Brook to Warren Allen's is mostly swept away, including bridges, and the stream in some places has changed places with the road, and run with undisputed velocity, and for a long distance the road looks like the forsaken bed of an old stream. It must cost so many hundred dollars to rebuild the road that it is thought by some that it will be better to give up that route and build a road from the Boyden place across to Col. Wells' road, where a sort of bridle path now runs.

Subjects: Bridges, Economics, Floods, Roads, Shelburne and Shelburne Falls (MA), Weather

Posted by stew - Tue, Jan 6, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 16, 1875

At about 5 o'clock Sat. aft., nearly half of the big dam at the cotton factory gave way, and in 20 minutes that half was a complete wreck. The damage is estimated at about $3000. The dam was known to be in need of repairs, signs of weakness having been detected in it soon after the tremendous ice pressure of last spring, and the mill had been shut down, and work on the dam was to have been commenced Mon. The repairs would have cost some $500.

Work will be begun on the new dam at once, and it will cost $2500. It will be about 6 weeks before it will be ready for use, the 85 hands employed by W.A. Fisher & Co's. mill, and the 45 employed by the Pequoig Hosiery Co. in the same building having a chance to rest in the meantime.

Subjects: Accidents, Athol (MA), Business Enterprises, Economics, Floods, Ice, Rivers / Lakes / Oceans, Work, Architecture / Construction

Posted by stew - Sat, Jan 3, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 16, 1875
News about home: Greenfield items

The storm last Wed. night was one of the hardest we have had this section for a long time. For several hours the water poured down in perfect torrents, washing out the roads in all directions. The gorge road to Shelburne was rendered impassible. At the Glen Reservoir, drawing off of the water, preparatory to the proposed alteration, had been commenced the previous day. The pond had been lowered 14 by 15 ft. But a perfect flood came down the brook above during the night, rapidly filling the reservoir, and the next day it was pouring over the dam at a great depth, and the land below was overflown.

Residents in the vicinity said that there appeared to be more water in the Glen hook than at the time of the flood of '69. The water that came through the mains in the village had a mixture of mud that was not particularly agreeable to those who are dependent upon it for a beverage and for cooking.

Subjects: Beverages, Floods, Greenfield (MA), Rivers / Lakes / Oceans, Roads, Shelburne and Shelburne Falls (MA), Weather, Work

Posted by stew - Sat, Dec 6, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, July 5, 1875
Odd Fellow’s picnic

The Executive Committee of the Connecticut River Valley Association of Odd Fellows met at Lake Pleasant Thurs. and made the preliminary arrangements for the fourth annual picnic of the Association at Lake Pleasant July 15. 17 lodges were represented and a great deal of enthusiasm manifested in the programme, which will include an address by Rev. A.H. Sweetser, vocal and instrumental music and dancing, and last but not least, a grand union dress parade of the patriarchal branch of the order. Five encampments have been invited to attend and participate, and 3 have already accepted the invitation. There will be by far the biggest gathering of Odd Fellows ever assembled in this part of the State. The public are invited. At least 3 bands will be present.

Subjects: Amusements, Clubs, Dance, Floods, Lake Pleasant (MA), Massachusetts, Montague (MA), Music, Religion, Clothing

Posted by stew - Thu, Dec 4, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, July 5, 1875

An extraordinary thunderstorm passed over the old Hungarian capital of Buda, opposite Pesth [i.e. Pest] on the Danube Mon. The lightning was incessant and hail fell in such quantities that the roofs of the houses and the surrounding hills were covered 2 ft. thick with ice. The waterfall was extraordinary. Torrents swept through the streets of Buda carrying men, vehicles and everything movable down the river. Many houses were suddenly flooded and destroyed before the inmates could escape. Over 500 of the inhabitants are missing, and at least 100 drowned or killed by falling walls. All the railways are interrupted. [See "The floods of Buda-Pesth in the New York Times online index for July 26, 1875].

Subjects: Accident Victims, Accidents, Floods, Households, Ice, Missing Persons, Rivers / Lakes / Oceans, Roads, Trains, Transportation, Urbanization / Cities, Weather, Hungarians

Posted by stew - Tue, Dec 2, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, June 28, 1875
Millers Falls

Lewey & Wheeler are repairing the damage done by last Spring's freshet to the bridge leading to Northfield on Millers River. The whole of the south abutment has had to be taken down and relaid, and a portion of the foundation of the pier, also, has had to be relaid. The damage done is estimated to be about $2000.

Subjects: Bridges, Business Enterprises, Economics, Floods, Millers Falls (MA), Montague (MA), Northfield (MA), Rivers / Lakes / Oceans, Work, Architecture / Construction

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 1, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, June 21, 1875
The location of the new bridge

The County Commissioners spent the Centennial, when other people were enjoying a day of recreation at home or of enthusiastic patriotism at the Hub, in settling the new Turners Falls bridge, making surveys and measuring distances. There were difficulties in their work that were not easily surmounted. It will be remembered that a few weeks ago the Board attempted to cross over to the island below the dam for this purpose, when an oar of the skiff they embarked in was broken, and they were forced to abandon the undertaking until the waters should get into a more placid state. On Thurs. Col. Holmes of Riverside acted as boatsman, and landed a portion of the party on the island by rowing out into the stream above the dam and then dropping down with the current to the desired point. Another party was entrusted to the care of Commodore Smith, the old ferryman, who piloted his skiff across below the dam, by which a wire for measuring was stretched from the shore to the island. The turbulent channel between the little and big islands was spanned by throwing across the line. the island was then surveyed and the distance across the channel on the Gill side.

/ This work, which required a good deal of paddling about from one point to another, consumed the entire day. The measurements taken are as follows: From the river wall on the Turners Falls side to the little island, 267 ft.; across the little island, 187 ft.; across the channel between the two islands, 451 ft.; across the large island 230 ft.; and from the island to the Gill shore, 216 ft. This would make the distance to be spanned by the bridge or rather bridges, for in reality there will have to be two, 821 ft. But this measurement is only from the river wall on the Turners Falls shore. The Water Power Company say that a bridge must span 150 ft. more to permit the widening, when necessary, of their canal. The only serious difficulty to be encountered at the terminus on the Turners Falls side. The space between the shops of the Clark & Chapman Machine Company and the building of the Montague Paper company is only 27 ft., and through this space the bridge must come. To be in a direct line with Avenue A, a small portion of the buildings on one side or the other, and perhaps both, will have to be removed; while directly in the center of this space just below the bulkhead, a water wheel is located, which would probably have to be taken out.

/ The place originally designed for this wheel was beneath the shop on the bulkhead, and it could probably be moved there with no serious opposition. We do not think that the Clark & Chapman Company will claim heavy damages unless there is serious interference with their buildings and the expensive machinery with which they are filled. On the other hand the Montague Paper company have built this portion of their mill since there was talk of locating a bridge here and since surveys were made expressly, the friends of the bridge claimed, to defeat their plans. Whether this would have any weight in awarding damages remains to be seen. A gentleman connected with the Water Power company informed the Commissioners that damages would be claimed if this location were adopted, that would amount to half the sum stipulated by the Legislature for the construction of the bridge, but the Commissioners propose to call a meeting at an early day, for the purpose of ascertaining the land damages, and settle this point, perhaps, before they accept proposals of the construction of the bridge.

/ It has been suggested, and we believe the plan is favored by the Turners Falls Company, that the eastern terminus of the bridge can be carried across the dam to a point just above the line of the bulkhead. But the danger from the logs that sometimes go over the dam with one end many feet in the air, or the liability of having the structure carried away by some bridge that may be swept down from above as they were in the great freshet, renders this location an impractical one. there are also those who claim that a bridge could be built for many thousand dollars less at the ferry above than at the dam. But the act of the Legislature requiring the commissioners to construct the bridge, designates the latter locality. The commissioners, who were hospitably entertained at the Farren House, completed their surveys, getting the heights, grades, etc. on Friday.

Subjects: Amusements, Boston (MA), Bridges, Business Enterprises, Canals, Connecticut River, Economics, Floods, Gill (MA), Government, Heritage Activities, Holidays, Hotels, Law and Lawyers, Massachusetts, Montague (MA), Rivers / Lakes / Oceans, Roads, Transportation, Trees, Turners Falls (MA), War / Weaponry, Work, Architecture / Construction

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 1, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, May 31, 1875
Horrible disaster

Church burned at Holyoke; frightful loss of life; 79 people burned to death - The most terrible disaster in the history of Western Massachusetts, save the Mill River flood of last May, and one of the worst ever known in New England, occurred in Holyoke Thurs. eve. The French Catholic Church at South Holyoke caught fire about 8 o'clock, while a large congregation was attending the evening services, and so rapidly did the flames spread that a number of people were unable to make their escape, and 66 persons, men, women and children, were burned to death, and a no. of others were fatally burned or wounded, so the total loss of life will reach at least 75.

/ The audience in the church was large. Thee were 700 or 800 people at the service, a very large proportion being women, with but few children and not many men. The vesper service was nearly through, and it was as the priest, Father Dufesne [i.e. Father Dufresne], turned to the altar to consecrate the host that the tragedy began, lightly - as such tragedies do, and at the moment no one who looked on thought of danger. The censer of incense [i.e. censor] kept burning in the shrine of the Virgin at the side of the chancel; by some unkindly current of air flamed up and caught the lace or muslin drapings around the arch enclosing the sacred effigy. A young woman, Ellen or Lend Blair [i.e. Lena Blair], rose in her pew close beside the shrine, and with her fan beat the flames, in a vain endeavor to extinguish them.

/ The flimsy draperies were choice food for the fire which rapidly reached upward to the top of the shrine, caught eagerly at the light pine ceiling, and in a mere moment wrapped the roof above in fringing flame jets and gnawed hungrily along the light galleries. Then all was panic. The assault was instantaneous; it gave no time to deliberate, no time to appreciate the fearful scene

b_fire/images/insidechurchlast3.jpg . The survivors of the disaster hardly knew what happened. It was all too swift for thought. The flame ran along the tinder roof as quick as a man could run. Hardly one was there who did not obey the blind instinct of self preservation.

/ In the gallery on the western side, many leaped from the windows upon the scaffolding of the new brick church building beside the old one, and most of the people on the floor chose windows or the inside front doors to escape. All those in the western gallery did escape, for the stairway heading thence to the vestibule was direct and easy. The unfortunate men and women in the eastern gallery had a far different task. The windows were a sheer descent, not only of their height above the floor, but of the embankment on which the church stood, and then the way thence to the vestibule, instead of a straight stairway, was around a sharp double angle. And here, in their hot haste, the unfortunate creatures tripped and fell, one upon another, until the hall beneath was choked with a desperate, struggling, writhing mass of humanity


blood_03.jpg . Meanwhile some had passed toward the rear door that led to the priest's house in the rear, but that too, was speedily invaded by the flames.

/ It took but two minutes. The engines were on hand then, and no time was lost in getting streams of water on the flames, which then encompassed all the sanctuary and burst from the front windows and doors. Then the work of extricating from the burning building the dead and dying began. The firemen, while water poured in above, entered the vestibule, and, covered by the descending torrents, rescued the bodies from the horrid sepulchre before the eastern door and at the foot of the stairs, which formed the death trap of that gallery.

/ The heap of human forms was too high to see the top of it from the doorway, and their struggles and their efforts had ceased. to all appearances there was nothing to save of life, yet the faithful firemen drew forth blackened and unrecognizable forms, scarce bearing the semblance of humanity.They came across occasionally a breathing form, and laid upon the earth nearby, who survived but a few seconds, nor revived to consciousness; stiffened and blackened, their spark of life was not strong enough to last. But most of the bodies were lifeless, and disguised by suffocation or by the fire that charred their garments and their flesh out of all resemblance to what they were.

/ The catastrophe was so sudden, so swift, so pauseless, that few were cool enough to observe its minutiae. The ruins of the church lie now a heap of charred timbers and arches over a hidden floor quite untouched by fire. The priest's house adjoining it in the rear, a mere shell, stands to mark more emphatically the spot. The whole no. of persons known to have lost their lives is 79, nearly all of them mill operatives. Nearly all those who were not burned to death before they were reached, were so severely scorched that they died within a few minutes; 20 so died after being taken out from the ruins.

b_fire/images/monats-100dpi.jpg Out of the whole no. only 7 men are known to have perished. Most of the victims were young women from 15 to 25 years old, though some were old women. [See the New York Times article entitled "The Holyoke Disaster", From May 29, 1875. Also known as the Precious Blood Church fire

b_fire/index.html ].

Subjects: Accident Victims, Accidents, Astronomy, Business Enterprises, Children, Diseases, Floods, Food, French, Furniture, Glass / Windows, Hampshire / Hampden Counties, Households, Literature / Web Pages, Luck, Names, New England, Obituaries, Old Age, Religion, Roads, Trees, Women, Work, Architecture / Construction

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 1, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, May 3, 1875

The recent break in the dam on Millers River, by which Washburn's, Haywood's and Rankin's factories have been stopped a fortnight, are repaired.

Subjects: Accidents, Business Enterprises, Erving (MA), Floods, Roads, Work

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 1, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, April 19, 1875
Hampshire county items

L. Loomis and Son of Haydenville are building a tenement house in the rear of their hotel on the bank of Mill River...A young lad named Monkler, aged 18, and one of those who escaped at the time of the flood, had his leg amputated above the knee the other day by Dr. Trow; disease in his leg was the cause...H.W. Sampson has the contract for building Hayden Gere & Co's. new shops. Most of the bricks are already on the ground, the foundations are laid, the foundry completed, and the work on the main buildings will be pushed rapidly as soon as the weather permits.

Subjects: Business Enterprises, Businesspeople, Diseases, Family, Floods, Hampshire / Hampden Counties, Hotels, Medical Personnel, Rivers / Lakes / Oceans, Weather, Work, Architecture / Construction

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 1, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, April 19, 1875

The river is now (April 11th) open against us, and nearly clear of running ice, and this too, with comparatively a small rise of water. Indeed, I never knew the breaking up to occur with so little of a flood. This is the more remarkable considering the extraordinary thickness of the ice and the great depth of snow upon the ground the past season. But the sun, coming back to us, has silently dissolved the snow and gradually thinned the ice and both have disappeared...

Subjects: Connecticut River, Floods, Gill (MA), Ice, Rivers / Lakes / Oceans, Weather

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 1, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, April 5, 1875

E.A. Munsell has moved into Mrs. Richards' house. J.M. Marshall has moved into Mrs. C. Rowe's house. Standing water was never more troublesome in Sunderland Street than for a few days back.

Subjects: Floods, Households, Roads, Sunderland (MA), Women

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 1, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, March 29, 1875

Athol, too, has grave fears of a flood, and the manufacturers have been cutting the ice away from their dams very generally.

Subjects: Athol (MA), Business Enterprises, Floods, Ice, Work

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 1, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, March 8, 1875
News of the week

The greatest flood that has ever visited the Tennessee Valley, with one exception, is now sweeping down that section. All the low ground about Chattanooga is submerged, and there is great loss of property. Every railroad leading into that city is badly washed, and whole sections are submerged. The East Tennessee road is out in 20 places; the Atlantic road has lost many bridges; the Memphis and Charleston road is under water for miles and has lost heavily in bridges, and the Nashville road is also a great sufferer. The great bridge across the Tennessee at Bridgeport, Mississippi is in danger, but as it is heavily weighed down with loaded cars it is thought it may be saved. The river is still rising, however, The destruction in fences, stock and houses for 300 miles up and down the valley is very great.

Subjects: Animals / Reptiles, Bridges, Disasters, Floods, Households, Rivers / Lakes / Oceans, Trains

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 1, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, March 8, 1875
News of the week

At Manayunk on the Schuylkill River near Philadelphia, huge pyramids of ice, loosened by the recent thaw, have forced the water far above the usual hight [i.e. height] so that it has flooded many mills, and given six thousand operatives a vacation, which, in these pinching times, they by no means desired.It drove hundreds of families from their tenements, undermined and swept away houses, and clogged and disarranged machinery.

Subjects: Business Enterprises, Economics, Family, Floods, Households, Ice, Native Americans, Rivers / Lakes / Oceans, Vacations, Weather, Work

Posted by stew - Thu, Jun 22, 2006

Gazette & Courier - Monday, February 8, 1875
John M. Smith of Sunderland read a very practical paper on the winter management of stock at the Hampshire Farmer's Institute Sat. He believes stall fed animals do better than those that run in the

John M. Smith of Sunderland read a very practical paper on the winter management of stock at the Hampshire Farmer’s Institute Sat. He believes stall fed animals do better than those that run in the yard, and recommended feeding grain, carrots and beets, but thought poorly of turnips and cabbage. He thought there was more money in raising lambs or in making butter and cheese than in fattening beef. The next meeting at north Amherst on the 13th will be devoted to the discussion of manure.

Subjects: Animals / Reptiles, Clubs, Economics, Farmers & Farming / Flowers, Floods, Hampshire / Hampden Counties, Literature / Web Pages, Meat, Outhouses, Sunderland (MA), Weather

Posted by stew - Fri, May 26, 2006

Gazette & Courier - Monday, February 8, 1875
The Mill River Relief Fund

The Mill River Relief Fund - The financial agent of the relief contributions for the benefit of the sufferers of the Mill River disaster in the town of Northampton has made a detailed report, showing that he has received $12,440 and distributed $9,411, leaving a cash balance of $228.39 and a special appropriation of $2800 for the widows and orphans of Leeds. Of this latter sum $500 is appropriated for each widow and $100 additional for each orphan under 12 years of age. Only $200 of this fund has been paid out, as this class of sufferers has been liberally aided by funds not under the control of the relief committee than any other. The amount is to be paid out at the rate of $450 per year for the benefit of the widows and orphans. The number of persons who have received aid in the district is 270, though quite a number received food and clothing but no pecuniary assistance. The money was mainly paid out in sums as follows: $300 for the head of each family that had lost all its furniture and clothing, $100 and $4 additional for a trunk to each unmarried woman who lost her trunk and clothing, and $50 to all unmarried men in like circumstances.

Subjects: Charity, Charlemont (MA), Children, Disasters, Economics, Family, Floods, Food, Furniture, Hampshire / Hampden Counties, Literature / Web Pages, Marriage and Elopement, Orphans and Orphanages, Widows and Widowers, Women, Clothing

Posted by stew - Fri, Apr 21, 2006

Gazette & Courier - Monday, February 1, 1875
(Shelburne Falls) A channel has had to be cut through the ice on the village brook to let off the water, which has set back far enough to endanger the dryness of some cellars on Mechanic Street.

(Shelburne Falls) A channel has had to be cut through the ice on the village brook to let off the water, which has set back far enough to endanger the dryness of some cellars on Mechanic Street.

Subjects: Charlemont (MA), Floods, Households, Ice, Roads, Shelburne and Shelburne Falls (MA)

Posted by stew - Sat, Feb 18, 2006

Gazette & Courier - Monday, January 25, 1875
From the report of the Special commission appointed to investigate the condition of the reservoirs in this State, it appears that not less than 27 are in an unsafe condition.

From the report of the Special commission appointed to investigate the condition of the reservoirs in this State, it appears that not less than 27 are in an unsafe condition.

Subjects: Accidents, Charlemont (MA), Disasters, Floods, Government, Massachusetts

Posted by stew - Tue, Feb 14, 2006

Gazette & Courier - Monday, January 25, 1875
The commission of engineers on the Mississippi levee have reported. They recommend government aid for rebuilding the levees, an immediate appropriation of one and one half millions for Louisiana and

The commission of engineers on the Mississippi levee have reported. They recommend government aid for rebuilding the levees, an immediate appropriation of one and one half millions for Louisiana and half a million apiece for Tennessee and Mississippi to close existing breaks. A permanent system will cost 46 millions. The people of these States are very touchy about federal interference...but they take very kindly...(blurry).

Subjects: Economics, Floods, Government, Rivers / Lakes / Oceans, Work, Architecture / Construction

Posted by stew - Tue, Feb 14, 2006

Gazette & Courier - Monday, January 25, 1875
A fearful storm occurred Tues. in Sierra Nevada and vicinity. A number of bridges on the Central Pacific Railroad were washed away, among others that at Sacrame

A fearful storm occurred Tues. in Sierra Nevada and vicinity. A number of bridges on the Central Pacific Railroad were washed away, among others that at Sacramento.

Subjects: Bridges, Charlemont (MA), Floods, Trains, Weather

Posted by stew - Mon, Feb 6, 2006

Gazette & Courier - Monday, January 18, 1875
(Wapping) Wapping people have not forgotten how to [?] evening surprise parties [?] took possession of the house of Mr. (Wapping) Wapping people have not forgotten how to [?] evening surprise parties [?] took possession of the house of Mr. http://archiver.root...L/2002-10/1035258488 Albert Childs , and in spite of the stares of surprise and bewilderment of the poor man, proceeded to make themselves very much at home. The unfortunate head of the family was obliged to "fix up" and endure with as much complacency as was spossible under the circumstances...[after the first protests] the man seemed to enjoy the affair, and before the evening was over [?] he was indeed 60 years of age and his friends had found it out. But oh, the supper: who can describe it? Wapping ladies fairly outdid themselves...

Subjects: Births, Deerfield (MA), Family, Floods, Households, Parties, Women

Posted by stew - Sat, Jan 14, 2006

Gazette & Courier - Monday, January 11, 1875
The worth of a man

The worth of a man - In the very heart of the Adirondack wilderness, the lonely trail comes suddenly tip on an open, and a solitary grave. It is miles and miles away from any habitation of the living, this monument to the dead, standing out from the level meadowland of Calamity Pond [named as such because this is where David Henderson accidentally shot and killed himself], a white speck against the green of the encircling forest, and the purple of the overshadowing hills. Tramping on through what was once a wood road, cut to drag this very stone to mark http://www.adirondac...y/mcintyre.mine.html David Henderson's grave , a road now overgrown into a difficult trail; the traveler reaches at nightfall the ghostly and deserted village of the Upper Works [of McIntyre Mine or the Adirondack Iron Works ]. It is one of the few places in America that has seen the ebb as well as the flood of the human wave. A score of houses stand desolate in the dark, the great furnace shops are idle, the doors of the church long since ceased to creak on their rusty hinges, the long street is green with grass and more still than the forest depths. This sad place is the real monument of the man whose grave is at the lonely spot to which his death gave name; he was its soul, and when the life went out from him, it went out also from this once busy village. There was never stronger testimony to the worth of a man, to the frequent importance of one life in the commonplace run of affairs. The Upper Works was a post of the Adirondack Mining Company, and Henderson seems to have been the ruling spirit which gave motive to the work. There were difficulties to contend against, the costs of transportation were high, there was this and that in the way, and a live man was needed to overcome them. This man died, everything went under, the scores or hundreds of dependent people got away as best they could, and there remains only the two people hushed into a shadowy life by the spirit of the place, who are paid to stay there and protect the interests of the company. There was in Dublin some years ago, the great iron and ship-building house of Walpole, Webb & Bewley , on whom nearly a thousand persons were dependent. It was the largest concern of the kind in Ireland, and rested on one man, a young man of about 30, and the junior partner. He had come into the firm and saved the house in a period of embarrassment, and it was wholly his brains and energy that kept it afloat through the hard times. One day he went out in the harbor in his Rob Roy canoe - it was in the days of that fever - his boat turned over, he was entangled in the tackle, and drowned in sight of his friends on shore. Immediately the work in the yards stopped, the firm failed, and the whole thousand were reduced to distress because this one man had died. It is not necessary therefore to seek the life of a Napoleon to illustrate of what vital importance one man may be to his fellowmen. We hear much of how the waters close over the quenched life, leaving but the momentary ripple to mark a grave, but we do not hear so much as we might of this other side of the story. Yet these are tales which it is well to have often told. They should inspirit men to an appreciation of the possible opportunities of life, whether they walk in narrow paths or on the high trails of the world in the world's sight. A great deal should come of the application to human life of the scientist's doctrine, that nothing can be lost. It is the same with human influence as with the forces with which he deals. It is convertible, through other men, into power to move the world, for we are taught also that the earth itself leaps up in its proportion to meet every footfall toward itself, and in like fashion each man in his degree moves the mass of men. A man must live his every day life the better when he feels thus fully its possibility of outcome. For the worth of a man is a value that can be measured by no finite laws (New York Mail).

Subjects: Accident Victims, Business Enterprises, Businesspeople, Cemeteries, Charlemont (MA), Economics, Floods, Government, Households, Irish, Law and Lawyers, Literature / Web Pages, Lost and Found, Mines and Mineral Resources, Obituaries, Religion, Roads, Science, Spiritualism, Statues, Transportation, Trees, Work

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