Lyndhurst in Bergen County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Theresa “Tessie” McNamara
1892 – 1971
—Heroine of the Kingsland Explosion —
On January 11, 1917 at 3:45 P.M. a fire broke out in Building #30. As the fire spread through the 84 acre complex, Tessie remained at her switchboard to notify the fire and police departments, her home office in New York and each of the forty buildings. As she made her calls 3" shells were exploding like fireworks and black smoke could be seen from New York City.
"My first thought was to save the lives of the 1700 men in the buildings. While making my calls, the first shell struck the building and passed about five feet from where I was sitting. About a dozen buildings were now on fire, and I had completed all calls. I started to leave the building without a coat, but I couldn't walk. My courage left me and the arriving firemen picked me up, wrapped a big coat around me and rushed for the gate."
Although the plant was completely destroyed and several homes on the hill above the complex were damaged or destroyed, all employees escaped due to the courageous efforts of Tessie McNamara.
Location. 40° 48.136′ N, 74° 6.104′ W. Marker is in Lyndhurst, New Jersey, in Bergen County. Marker is on Clay Avenue, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is on Clay Avenue, between Valley Brook Avenue and Wall Street. Marker is in this post office area: Lyndhurst NJ 07071, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. John McGarry (approx. 1.1 miles away); Lyndhurst War Memorial (approx. 1.4 miles away); Operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom (approx. 1.4 miles away); Pulaski Drive (approx. 1.4 miles away); North Arlington 9/11 Memorial (approx. 1.6 miles away); Detective James Zadroga (approx. 1.6 miles away); U.S.S. Maine Memorial (approx. 1.6 miles away); Rutherford Vietnam & Korea Memorial (approx. 1.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lyndhurst.
More about this marker. A picture of Tessie McNamara appears in the upper left of the marker, while the "stack" of the Canadian Car & Foundry Co.
Categories. • Notable Events • Notable Persons •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 25, 2010, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,030 times since then and 56 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 25, 2010, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. 5. submitted on April 21, 2012, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.