Worcester, MA Fire, Jun 1854
Tremendous Fire in Worcester, Mass.----$500,000 Worth of Property Destroyed---One Thousand Men thrown out of Work.
WORCESTER, Thursday, June 15, Yesterday afternoon, between 12 and 1 o'clock, a fire broke out on the southeast corner of the extensive block of brick buildings belonging to William T. Merrifield. The buildings were four stories in height, and if placed in a continuous line would measure 900 feet in length.
The flames soon extended to a long row of sheds and wooden shops in the Court between the west and east wings of the building, and thence their progress was uninterrupted until the whole of the main building was on fire. In a few minutes the large three-story building was on fire. In a few minutes the large three-story wooden building occupied by Thayer, Houghton & Co., and the extensive Pistol manufactory of Allen & Thurber---which was entirely consumed.
We learn, in addition to the above, that the seat of the conflagration embraced the whole tract covered with large machine shops and other buildings bordering on the Boston and Worcester Railroad on the right in entering that city, and extending from the canal, where the railroad crosses it by a covered bridge to the stables in the rear of the American House, which are saved. All the buildings between the canal and the Nashua Railroad---extending northerly across Exchange-street to Central-street, are destroyed, including some small buildings near the Nashua Railroad on the westerly side. Among the buildings destroyed was a small woodshed belonging to the Nashua road. The other railroad buildings, belonging to both companies, are safe.
Mr. Merryfield's extensive Planing Buildings were entirely consumed, together with twenty other buildings. covering twenty acres of ground.
About fifteen hundred workmen are thrown out of employment by this unfortunate calamity.
The loss will not fall short of five hundred thousand dollars.
The report that some lives were lost is untrue, but several persons were seriously injured.
The loss of Mr. Merryfield is about $100,00, on which he has an insurance of $22,000.
The other losses range from $400 to $35,000.
The firemen worked hard to stay the flames. Governor Washburn took a position on one of the engines and worked until the fire was subdued.
A meeting of the citizens was held this mooring to relieve the destitute.
The names of the sufferers are Williams, Rich & Co., James Flagg & Co., C. Hovey & Co., Howard & Davis Co., Edward Livermore, Daniel Painter, Cyrus Ellis, B. & B. C. Brown, Charles E. Wilder, S. G. Reed and Isaac Davis.
BOSTON, Thursday, June 15. The fire at Worcester yesterday burnt over four acres, including the principal manufactories of the city, located on Union, Exchange and Cypress-streets. The loss is estimated at from $300,000 to $600,000, and about one-third of it is covered by insurance.
The New York Times, New York, NY 16 Jun 1854