Trial by Fire
New Bedford Whaling National Historic Park
—National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —
Lost were the three-story tavern, built about 1820, and the Macomber-Sylvia building next to it, which had just been restored and was to be sold that day. The explosion also blew up a building across Johnny Cake Hill and one on William Street, north of the whaling museum, and rocketed a four-ton I-beam and four firefighters across Union Street. Firefighters and gas company crews battled to contain the blaze for more than 12 hours, finally controlling he fire by dusk.
According to Peggi Medeiros, Waterfront Historic Area League (WHALE) Director of Education and Preservation Services, “At 6:45 the roof of the Sundial Building (to your right on the corner) caught fire. When the fire was finally out, most of the roof was gone and one wall was bowing out over North Water Street.”
WHALE, having spent $41,000 to restore the now-lost Macomber-Sylvia building, convinced the city to rebuild the Sundial Building. WHALE raised funds
Location. 41° 38.076′ N, 70° 55.392′ W. Marker is in New Bedford, Massachusetts, in Bristol County. Marker is on Union Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: New Bedford MA 02740, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Twentieth-Century Whaling (here, next to this marker); Captain Paul Cuffe (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Captain Paul Cuffe (a few steps from this marker); Making Room-Johnny Cake Hill (a few steps from this marker); A Tribute of Respect to Enterprising Whalemen (within shouting distance of this marker); The Seamen's Bethel (within shouting distance of this marker); Viking (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Seamen’s Bethel (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New Bedford.
Categories. • Disasters •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 5, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 429 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on January 5, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on August 3, 2015, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.