The Great Salem Fire of 1914: Images from the Philips Library Collection

On a hot day in June 1914, a fire broke out in a leather factory a mile away from the heart of downtown Salem. Despite the efforts of local firefighters and volunteers from communities as far away as Boston, residents watched helplessly as flames leapt from rooftop to rooftop. By the time the fire finally extinguished itself in the Atlantic Ocean, it had destroyed hundreds of acres of property, damaged over a thousand buildings and left more than twenty thousand people homeless. Makeshift tent cities sprung up on Salem Common and in Forest River Park. This collection of historic photos from the Phillips Library depicts the city before the fire, the conflagration itself and the people of Salem's united effort to rebuild and rise triumphant from the ashes.

Paperback: 192 Pages

Images: 227

7 (w) x 10 (h)

Barbara Kampas is the Head of Library Collections at the Phillips Library, which is a part of the Peabody Essex Museum. She earned her MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College in 2006 and is a member of the following organizations: the American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries, the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services, and Phi Beta Mu (the Library and Information Studies honor society).

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