Vintage: Great Boston Fire of 1872 (Exactly 145 years ago)

Vintage: Great Boston Fire of 1872 (Exactly 145 years ago)


The conflagration began at 7:20 p.m. on November 9, 1872, in the basement of a commercial warehouse at 83-87 Summer Street. The fire was finally contained 12 hours later, after it had consumed about 65 acres (26 ha) of Boston’s downtown, 776 buildings and much of the financial district, and caused $73.5 million in damage. Despite these devastations, only thirteen people died in the inferno.

Photographic panorama of the 'Burnt District' of Boston, after the Great Fire, November 9, 10, 1872

Photographic panorama of the ‘Burnt District’ of Boston, after the Great Fire, November 9, 10, 1872

Sargent Brothers' store, Winthrop Square

Sargent Brothers’ store, Winthrop Square

State St. block, Pearl St. walls, Sailors' Home

State St. block, Pearl St. walls, Sailors’ Home

Summer Street south side, looking toward Broad St.

Summer Street south side, looking toward Broad St.

Washington St. north from Winter (Old South Meeting House in background)

Washington St. north from Winter (Old South Meeting House in background)

Bachelder's Wharf, Federal St.

Bachelder’s Wharf, Federal St.

Post office building after the fire

Post office building after the fire

Bank of North America

Bank of North America

Burr, Taft & Co. Devonshire St.

Burr, Taft & Co. Devonshire St.

Federal St. (post office . . . fire engine)

Federal St. (post office . . . fire engine)

Federal Street, Hunt and Company

Federal Street, Hunt and Company

Franklin St. (Old South Meeting House in background, tents and men in foreground)

Franklin St. (Old South Meeting House in background, tents and men in foreground)

Franklin St.

Franklin St.

Post office on left

Post office on left

Rear of old post office

Rear of old post office

Remains of Claflin Larrabee building

Remains of Claflin Larrabee building

Remains of Donahoes block, Franklin St.

Remains of Donahoes block, Franklin St.


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