South Hadley, MA Mount Holyoke College Main Building Fire, Sept 1896

Main Bldg, Mount Holyoke College, after the fire 1896


Pioneer College for the Higher Education of Women Destroyed by Fire.

Entire Main Building in Ruins, Causing a Probable Loss of $300,000.

Faculty and Students Have Ample Time for Escape and Are Uninjured.

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass., Sept. 28 – Mount Holyoke college, the pioneer institution for the higher education of women, received a severe blow during the afternoon in the burning of the main building, with a probable loss of over $150,000. Fortunately none of the 400 students or faculty were injured, there being ample time for their escape with part of their personal effects.

The fire was fist discovered in the laundry in the gymnasium wing, at 4:30 p. m. It slowly worked through the doorways in the fire wall, then into the south wing of the building and then into the large building fronting the street. At the same time it burned through the gymnasium into the north wing and at 7:30 the entire structure was a mass of flames. About 8 o'clock the walls began to topple over and a hour later all that remained of the structure were sections of the wall looming up through the smoke. The library building, adjoining the main structure on the north and containing 16,000 volumes, was saved by active work on the part of the firemen.

Most of the students are scattered, about in the houses of the town people, the hotels and the churches, while others have gone to Holyoke, Northampton and other nearby points.

Iowa State Register Waterloo Iowa 1896-10-02