Chicopee, MA Dwight Manufacturing Co Fire, Apr 1873


Burning of the Chicopee Mills, Massachusetts---Loss $500,000.

SPRINGFIELD, April 15.---One of the most destructive fires in Western Massachusetts for many years broke out at 10:45 o'clock last night, in Mill No. 2 of the Dwight Manufacturing Company, of Chicopee, and before the flames were extinguished, destroyed both that and the mill adjoining, No. 1, belonging to the same company. The fire caught in the wheel-room, by the accidental overturning of a lamp, and spread very rapidly. At 10½ o'clock two steamers were sent from this city, but before their arrival the buildings were nearly consumed. The mills were employed in the manufacture of cotton sheeting and cotton flannel, and contained 4,500 bales of cotton, which were destroyed.

In addition to the two mills, there were destroyed the engine and picker building, two storehouses filled with first-class lumber and old and new machinery, and a part of the railroad freight depot, which was used as a store-house for cotton. There were 1,500 bales of cotton in the cotton storehouse, most of which was completely ruined. There were about 900 looms in the two mills, and the cloth in them, about 2,500 cuts, which were burned, together with about 22,000 pounds of filling and 10,000 pounds of coarse yarn. Eight hundred hands were thrown out of employment by the fire, three-fourths of whom were girls. The running on extra time in the remaining mills and preparing for rebuilding will afford employment for a considerable portion of this force of hands, but many of them will be obliged to seek work elsewhere. The fire will prove a very serious disaster to the general prosperity of the village, ad the operators are largely indebted to the merchants for supplies furnished in anticipation of the monthly pay-day, which was to have been to-morrow. The loss of the company is to-day estimated at $500,000.

The New York Times, New York, NY 16 Apr 1873