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Arcadia Publishing - The Great Boston Fire of 1872
Arcadia Publishing - The Great Boston Fire of 1872


 
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Arcadia Publishing - The Great Boston Fire of 1872


Few events can be said to have changed the face of Boston forever. Eventually destroying 775 buildings and causing millions of dollars in damage to the commercial section that we now know as Boston's business district, the Great Boston Fire of 1872 was a spectacular conflagration that destroyed "old Boston" and allowed a phoenix to arise from the ashes. This exciting new pictorial history brings to life the drama that began one Saturday evening in 1872 when a fire started in an empty hoop-skirt factory on the corner of Summer and Kingston Streets. At the time, Boston was in the throes of aepizootic disease that caused all horses in the area to be ill. This caused a virtual shutdown of transportation and city services and delayed the fire department's response to calls for help. By the time the breathless firemen arrived, the fire had already consumed the granite five-story factory and burst through the mansard roof, which acted as a flue and spread the fire. Within an hour, much of Summer Street was engulfed in flames and firemen from near and far were being summoned to combat the spread of the deadly blaze. By midnight, the fire had spread through Summer Street to Arch Street and was attacking Winthrop Square. Old Trinity Church, at the corner of Summer and Hawley Streets, had given itself up to the flames.

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