Worcester, MA Flood, Mar 1876

Just before the water struck the railroad embankment, at Jamesville, a section of the stream forced its way on the line of the road, passing on both sides of the depot, rushed down the track, and in its course, lifted rails and ties bodily from the road bed and turned them topsy turvy for more than a mile. Just before reaching the stone arch of the bridge, at Curtis pond, it bored a hole down into the road bed and made a gap about eighty feet long and forty-five or fifty feet deep. The water then found its way into Curtis pond. The devastation at this point will be as costly as any along the entire route.

The branch railroad track was taken up bodily and carried over on to the main road. Trees, stumps and shanties were also thrown down and washed away.

The flood reached Leesville about two hours after the dam broke, and struck the Satinet mill, owned by Albert Eustis, with great force. It gave way and crumbled into ruins and the dam was carried away. Three hours after the dam broke away, the effect was felt at New Worcester.

The course of the stream from the reservoir through the other villages in nine miles, showing that the water advanced at the rate of three miles and hour. One mile, however, was made in three minutes. The first indication of trouble at Curtis' pond, was a rise of water at 9 o'clock. The situation was critical. The water had cut a hole through the dam. The Boston and Albany railroad embankment served as a dam, and Webster square was rapidly converted into a reservoir. At a few minutes past nine one end of Curtis & Marble's large brick shop gave way, falling into the stream. Soon after the Arcade building tipped over and was left standing on end. About 9:45 the double arch bridge on the Boston and Albany railroad, below Curtis & Marble's shop, gave way, as section of the embankment, 70 feet long and 20 feet deep with it, an outlet being made, and the danger at New Worcester was averted.

After the second break in the Boston & Albany railroad, the mill of the Wieks manufacturing company at South Worcester, was destroyed. The water then spread over a series of meadows and in the south part of the city.

The water is rapidly subsiding, and no further damage is feared. It is impossible to estimate the loss to-night.

Decatur Daily Republican, Decatur, IL 31 Mar 1876

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