Memories of the Great Molasses Flood

molasses flood damage boston
Destroyed molasses tank, takes out part of the elevated railway between North and South Station, via Bill Warner.

After all this rain, I’ve uncovered an article of memories of Boston’s Great Molasses Flood, which occurred in January, 1919. The flood began when a tank of a 2 million gallon tank of molasses gave way in Boston’s North End, then home to a half dozen or so candy factories; when I was in grade school we still went to candy shops in the North End on school field trips–though by that point it was probably all nostalgia.

The article, from the sixtieth anniversary of the disaster, in 1989, draws on probably some of the last living people with memories of the event. Phillip D’Allesandro was eight years old in 1919:

I was coming home from school at my lunch hour. The elevated trains were stopped. Lots of working people were on their lunch hour. It smelled very sweet. But you couldn’t walk there. You couldn’t cross the street.

More photos after the jump.

A Red Cross ambulance arrives on the scene, where a part of the elevated railway has collapsed.

The most famous photo of the disaster comes from Boston Herald’s photographer, Leslie Jones, whose work showed up here.


One thought on “Memories of the Great Molasses Flood

  1. Pingback: Looking Backward…on 2010 « Looking Backward

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