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A History of NH Disasters

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  • A History of NH Disasters

    NH has seen its share of disasters over the years. We have seen almost every disaster imaginable from explosions to drowning to floods and tornados.

    Steel working Accident- Freeman Point- June 1903

    William Woodward worked at Miliken Brothers as an iron worker. The company had a contract at the White Mountain Paper Plant. William was working on a steel structure when a large iron piece fell and smacked him on the head. He was taken to his boarding house but when his condition worsened, he was transported to the Cottage hospital. Doctors diagnosed him with a fractured skull. He died at 2:00pm at the young age of 32.

    Circus Accident- Nashua- July 1893

    The Barnum Circus was in town and Michael Gibson was an employee of the circus. The chariot races were exiting the ring after their performance. Michael ran across the ring when he was struck by one of the chariots and knocked down. He got up and began to run to safety when he was struck again by another chariot. This time, the chariot ran right over his neck. He died within minutes. Michael joined the circus in Boston but lived in New Jersey.

    Bomber Crash- Portsmouth- April 1958

    Four men were killed when their B-47 bomber crashed after takeoff from Pease Air Force Base. The bomber had taken off several hundred feet when it suddenly dived just at the end of the runway. The four men killed were ages 23, 25, 25 and 27.

    Canoe Accident- Manchester- June 1913

    A group of six men had set up camp for the weekend along the Merrimack River. The men decided to go for a canoe ride when their canoe hit rough waters and all six men were thrown into the rapids. Only two of the men knew how to swim as they tried to save their companions with no success. The two survivors were able to make it to a sand bar. They were ages 18 and 40 while the drowned were ages 4, 18, 20 and 20.

    Student Drowns at High School Picnic- Keene- June 1900

    Charles Walter McGlenning was the secretary of his graduation class. He didn’t make it to his graduation day because he drowned at the senior class picnic at Forest Lake. Charles did not know how to swim so when he and some of his classmates went into the lake for a swim, Charles had a raft to hold on to. He let go of the raft briefly and sank to the bottom of the lake. His friends became concerned when he did not resurface but were unable to find him to try and save him. His body was never recovered. He was 18 years old and lived with his uncle in Keene. His parents lived in Chesterfield.

    Earthquake- Lake Ossipee- December 1940

    There were two earthquakes that hit Lake Ossipee four days apart. The first one hit December 20th and the 2nd one hit on December 24th. In Tamworth and Wonalancet, chimneys were crumbled, walls were cracked and pipes were busted. The earthquakes were both felt as far away as 550 kilometers from Lake Ossipee which included surrounding states. There were 129 aftershocks that lasted through January 3rd, 1941.

    Annis Grain and Lumber Mills Boiler Explosion- Londonderry- January 1906

    A boiler exploded at the plant damaging the boiler, the engine house, the grain mill and the wood working mill. The explosion also caused injuries to the engineer, Justin Sanborn. At first, people believed it was an earthquake because the explosion was heard far away. The plant shut down for several weeks fro repairs and caused $10,000 in damages.

    State Prison Fire- Concord- July 1914

    One fireman was killed and two others were badly injured while trying to put out a fire the state prison. Amos Turner was killed when a stack of lumber fell on him. Philip O’Connell and Clarence Clark were injured trying to fight the flames. The fire started in a warehouse full of wooden chairs when a shifting engine threw out sparks.

    NH Storm and Flood- October 1869

    A storm that produced major flooding did damage to several parts of the state. In Wilton, bridges were destroyed, a stable owned by George Wallace was swept away down by the river, the Davis Corporation Mill was destroyed and Newell’s Mill was ruined. In Brookline, several mills, dams and bridges were destroyed. The main street in town was completely flooded as were cellars in town. In Goffstown, the damages were estimated at $5,000. A 35-year old man downed as a bridge he was crossing was swept away. In other parts of the state, a horse was swept away in Concord, several railroads were destroyed and two other men were killed when a mill they were in was carried away. Neither body was ever recovered.

  • #2
    Re: A History of NH Disasters

    So maybe those disaster "Preppers" that they show on TV now are onto something.

    Anyone here into disaster preperation or a "Prepper?"


    • #3
      Re: A History of NH Disasters

      I am not really into it but I love the show. They may very well be onto something.


      • #4
        Re: A History of NH Disasters

        There is something cool about that show! I would be more concerned if they were all preparing for the same diasaster. They all have a disaster they are preparing for, all seem to be different.

        The way I see it is if we get any one of the disasters the people on Preppers are preparing for then I don't want to be alive anyway! So why devote my life to save it? Makes no sense lol

        Still watch the show though


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        Name a STATE that NH shares a border with.