Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Fire of 1882

As a follow up to last week's post of the gorgeous old buildings downtown, many read 1882 on them. A fire devasted the main street along the river here in February 1882. 

2,000 people lost their jobs. Here were factories for shoes, leather goods, woolens and hats. In total 10 acres were destroyed and 300 businesses affected.  Luckily no one was killed since it was overnight and the area managed to rebuild very quickly

An old photo after the devastation.
source
 Here is the rebuilt fire station.
source
What does it look like now? It is a beauty!
Like so many other buildings, it has gorgeous details.
It now houses businesses.


When reading up on this event I was touched by a poem by Haverhill poet William T. Dwyer written in 1885 summing up the dreadful occurance. 

Washington street was bound in flames of fire that o'er it rolled. It was a cold and windy night, and the hour of twelve was near, When the shrill sound of the fire alarm, our citizens did hear. Though some lay quiet in slumber, they soon arose and found, That the business portion of the town, was burning to the ground. The firemen soon rushed to the spot and struggled hard to save Our city from destruction, and the grasp of Satan’s wave.  But the fire fiend then was raging, and its course they could not stay, Till neath its hand, fine structures in a heap of ruins lay.  It really meant destruction, as it leaped up to the sky, And those buildings fell beneath it, like the grass before the scythe. It was a sad and thrilling scene to witness, I am sure,  And it sent a feeling to the hearts of both the rich and poor. For the poor man from employment, was thrown upon the world, And the rich man with his thousands, into poverty it hurled. But still there's men undaunted, who will build again with speed,  While charity lends a helping hand to those who are in need. And the day is not far distant when, our city you will see,  A thriving business center, as once it used to be. And now to end my ditty, kind friends to you I say, Bear this blow with a smile of hope, for soon it will decay. And prosperity again will shine, on that you may rely; Here is to old Haverhill, may its name never die.  

Thank you for stopping by! Have a fabulous day! ~Val

18 comments:

  1. wow that was some fire! and what a story behind the rebuilding of the building. It does have some gorgeous detail

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  2. What a huge fire that must have been! Hard to control in those days.

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  3. i cannot imagine. fires now are so devastating but the equipment and manpower resources are SO much better.

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  4. I got goosebumps reading that poem...
    I'm glad the business district got rebuilt quickly and now you can enjoy it once again!

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  5. Good pictures and have a good day

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  6. I did not know this, Val, and indeed, it sure is beautiful now!

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  7. Wow, I can't even imagine! Thanks for the history Val and great pics!

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  8. Interesting history!!! Great building!!!
    Have a good week!!!!:)))

    Besos, desde España, Marcela♥

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  9. Fire can be so devastating! So sad, but glad to see it restored and looking beautiful again. Thanks for sharing it's story.
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  10. Wow..It really is a beauty again now. Thanks for sharing.

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  11. Thanks for sharing Val. The rebuilt fire station looks splendid!

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  12. So interesting. Amazing that they rebuilt so quickly.

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  13. So stunning! I like this so much.

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  14. I like this beautiful poem! Magnific building also. It's very interesting to learn the history of the city. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  15. I love how they have rebuilt it.Great history

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  16. Oh what a beautiful poem, history was made!

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  17. It's great they could rebuild quickly. How awful!

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  18. Fire is such a devastation. I'm glad they were able to rebuild. What a beauty. I also liked hearing about the history behind the buildings and the town.

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Thank you for stopping by! I love reading visitor comments! ~Val