May 27, 1875

The Tragedy of the
Precious Blood Church Fire

Table of Contents

This is a compilation of many sources. You are advised to read
both the Introduction and the article by Art Corbiel first.

Introduction by Laurel O'Donnell.

Fire At Precious Blood, by Art Corbiel, ©2000, all rights reserved. Used with permission. Definitive discussion of the event with a listing of the dead and injured as reported by the The Holyoke Transcript, June 2, 1875.

Reported Friday, May 28, 1875

The Springfield Daily Republican, Friday, May 28, 1875, page 2. The Holyoke Disaster. [Harsh and seemingly unsympathetic words from the Republican in this initial report on the fire. Little did they know that a few days later Springfield would be facing one of the worst fires in its history, with a loss of more than 35 buildings as well as lives.]

Reported Saturday, May 29, 1875

The Springfield Daily Republican, Saturday, May 29, 1875, pages 4-5. The Holyoke Disaster. Lengthy article with extensive detail.

The Daily Graphic, Saturday, May 29, 1875, VOL. VII, No. 693. page 683. "The Holyoke Church Holocaust," and images of Burning of the French Catholic Church at South Holyoke, Mass., Thursday Evening. [From Sketches by Mr. T. W. Mann.]

Image — Identifying the Bodies in the Park street School-House.(380 kb)
Image — Scene of the Conflagration in the Church.
              select (low-res, 75 dpi, 213 kb)or (higher-res, 150 dpi, 377kb)
Image — Ruins of the Parsonage and Church — Looking North.
Image — Ground Plan of the Church.
Image — Ruins of the Church and Parsonage — Looking South.
Image — Touching Scene at the Death-Bed of one of the Sufferers.
Image — The Crush on the Gallery Stairs.
Image — A Victim of the Catastrophe—Scene in La Pointe's Block.

Reported Sunday, May 30, 1875

The New York Times, May 30, 1875, page 2; The Holyoke Disaster (report of the funeral and more)

Reported Monday, May 31, 1875

The Daily Graphic, Monday, May 31, 1875, VOL. VII, No. 694. front page. The Holyoke Church Disaster (A page of artists' sketches at the scene of the catastrophe).

Image — Scene In Front of the Church During the Fire — Fireman Lynch Rescuing Persons from the Flames. (380 kb)
Image — The Heroes of Holyoke; featuring John T. Lynch and Peter Monat. (93 kb)
Image — The Heroes of Holyoke; featuring B.F. Mullin and T. W. Mann. (99 kb)
Image — The Holyoke Church Disaster — A General View of the Ruins on the Morning After the Fire. (A Page of Our Artists' Sketches at the Scene of the Catastrophe.)

Reported Tuesday, June 1, 1875

The Daily Graphic, Tuesday, June 1, 1875, VOL. VII, No. 695. page __?. The Holyoke Church Disaster — Scenes At and After the Fire. [From Sketches by Our Special Artists at Holyoke.]

Image — Composite of the Following Seven Images. (262 kb)
Image — 1. Searching for friends and relatives among the bodies in the School-house. (173 kb)
Image — 2. Removing identified bodies from the School-house. (127 kb)
Image — 3. Buildings where some of the bodies were carried. (74 kb)
Image — 4. The beginning of the fire — Interior of the Church. (214 kb)
Image — 5. Appearance of the Church before the fire. (53 kb)
Image — 6. The funeral leaving the new Church. (161 kb)
Image — 7. Funeral services in the basement of the new Church. (172 kb)

Lists of the Dead & Injured.

A comparative chart of the dead and injured as they appeared in three newspapers at the time, side by side with what is in the records of the Holyoke City Clerk's Office. You will note major discrepanies but will hopefully find it to be helpful.

Holyoke City Clerk Death Records, May 27-June 18, 1875.

A compiled list of deaths from the Holyoke City Clerk's office. Collected and transcribed by Laurel O'Donnell.

Precious Blood Cemetery Tombstone Inventory.

Precious Blood Cemetery, South Hadley, MA. Tombstone inventory complete with photographs and inscriptions. This inventory contains about 2500 names and accompanying images.

© Laurel O'Donnell 1998 - 2005, ©Art Corbiel, 2000, respectively, all rights reserved
This document may be downloaded for personal non-commercial use only
and should not be reproduced or distributed without permission.