Pittsfield, MA storm, Jul 1908




Trees Blown Over, Buildings Damaged and Wires Down as Result of Lively Storm.

A wind and rainstorm that passed over Pittsfield Saturday morning between 11 and 12 o'clock did a large amount of damage in the north part of the city. The storm area was about a mile wide and there was not the slightest difficulty in following the trail of the storm as it blew down trees and telegraph poles and did d a great amount of damage to such crops as corn and oats. On Peck's road near Peck's upper mill several trees and telegraph poles were blown down. At the Bel Air mill and on Lenox avenue a large number of trees were destroyed by the wind. The great elm on Taconic hill was split in two. This was one of the largest elm trees in the city. On the street leading to Pontoosuc mill a large tree was blown on to the roof of one of the Pontoosuc manufacturing company's houses. The roof sagged under the weight but did not fall in.

Several trolly [sic] poles on the line of the Pittsfield street railway between the Pittsfield boat club house and the road leading to Pontoosuc mill were blown down and took with them all of the trolly and feed wires. It was not until after 6 o'clock that the wires were in place and cars could be operated over that piece of track. In the street railway company's grove, at the lake, a large number of trees were blown down and the benches were shattered by the trees falling upon them. The campers who were living in tents at Camp Merrill suffered considerably as the result of their tents being blown down. In one tent was a quantity of dishes, all of which were broken. Some of the tents in the more sheltered part of the grove escaped the fury of the gale.

There were no boats on the lake when the storm broke. Had there been they would have been capsized as the waves were never known to have run as high as they did Saturday. On the Whelden farm on Crane avenue a small barn was turned completely around by the wind, but was not badly damaged. Blinds were blown off from houses in the storm belt. The wind blew the rain through the crevicies in the clapboards and shingles and much damage was done to the interior of houses in this manner. One of the giant pine trees at the Pittsfield boat club house was blown down. The piazza was blown from the Roscoe cottage at Lakeview. Both the big generators at the power-house of the Pittsfield street railway were put out of commission for nearly an hour by the lightning that accompanied the storm. The telephone men had a busy time trying to get the telephones that were put out of commission in working order. Last night they had most of the lines in working order. The storm came directly from the west. On Shaker mountain and the other mountains to the west of the city a large number of berry-pickers were caught out in the storm. William D. Campbell, Frank Uhrig, Christopher Hesse and Timothy Dewey took refuge under a tree on Shaker mountain and while there a tree about 15 feet distant was shattered by a blot of lightning. All of the young men were more or less shocked, but sustained no serious injury.

The Springfield Republican, Springfield, MA 20 Jul 1908