“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Dover in Strafford County, New Hampshire — The American Northeast (New England)

Dover's Black Day

Dover's Black Day Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 9, 2019
1. Dover's Black Day Marker
Inscription.  Dover's Black Day began with a record breaking rainfall March 1 & 2, 1896 which ravaged downtown Dover. The Central Avenue bridge was swept away by torrents of rushing water and ice floes; several stores and offices in the Bracewell Building were destroyed as well.

Merchants occupying the southern portion of the building included Fred Foss's stationery store, Roberts Bros. Boots & Shoes, the Misses Flynn millinery shop, Drew & Boomer photography studio, and the law offices of William Roberts. Combined, their losses totaled over $23,000. Building owner, Col. John Bracewell, estimated additional structural damage of at least $20,000 more.

The bridge began to sink at 4 PM on March 2 when immense ice cakes from upstream continually hit its piers. At 4:55, two spans, 30' wide, went down. Not five minutes before, the bridge was filled with people resolved to see in spite of the danger. They were removed by the City Marshall just in time.

The Bracewell Block caved in at exactly 8 PM with "crashing glass, snapping of timber, and a cloud of plaster and lime." Debris flowed swiftly over the dam. Electric poles then fell into
Marker detail: Bracewell Block Damage image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: Bracewell Block Damage
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the streets with live wires sparking. Lots of merchandise and equipment from these Dover businesses were found in Portsmouth the next day: "everything from lead pencils to fine bonnets to brogans.”
Erected 2015 by Faces of Dover, and Dover Main Street, Inc. (Marker Number 9.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Disasters. A significant historical date for this entry is March 1, 1896.
Location. 43° 11.796′ N, 70° 52.462′ W. Marker is in Dover, New Hampshire, in Strafford County. Marker is on Central Avenue (New Hampshire Route 9) south of First Street, on the right when traveling south. Marker is mounted on the west-side bridge railing, overlooking the Cocheco River. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Dover NH 03820, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Dover's Early Settlers (a few steps from this marker); Early 19th Century Storefronts (within shouting distance of this marker); The Dover Mill Girls (within shouting distance of this marker); The Two Morrill Blocks (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Central (Lower) Square (about 500 feet away); Dover NH WWII Memorial (about 600 feet away); The American House Hotel (about 600 feet away); Dover’s Two Largest Retail Chain Stores (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Dover.
Related markers.
Dover's Black Day Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 9, 2019
3. Dover's Black Day Marker
(looking west along Cocheco River, from bridge)
Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
Also see . . .
1. Dover's Black Day. Constructed for $40,000 in 1877 by Col. John Bracewell, the Bracewell commercial block housed over a dozen upscale Dover businesses and professional offices and spanned the river from First Street to J.H. Winslow’s store. The portion of the building standing directly over the river on granite piers was swept away and one of the piers, weighing 700 pounds, was found, days later, washed up on a lawn ˇn New Castle. (Submitted on July 3, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Calamity on the Cocheco. In addition to all the wreckage made by water was fire at midnight, Sunday, in Converse and Hammond’s lumber yard. Water was the cause of the fire too. 1,500 barrels of lime could not be removed to a dry place before the river had swollen and enveloped them. The chemical combination of lime and water started a fire. No alarm could be sounded by electricity, as the wires were all down so two short blasts were sounded on the gong at about midnight. Every engine and all the available hydrants were used in fighting one of the fiercest fires for many months. (Submitted on July 3, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 5, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 2, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 85 times since then and 35 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 3, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Sep. 19, 2021