Nahant, MA Longfellow Cottage Fire, May 1896


Four Other Summer Residences at Nahant Swept Away by Fire.

Nahant, Mass., May 18.---Special Telegram.---During the high gale this afternoon fire broke out on the Longfellow cottage estate, and it spread rapidly through the residence section, destroying five mansions and causing a property loss of $100,000. The fire started in the yard of the historic Longfellow cottage, presumably from a spark from the pipe of a painter. It at once communicated with the cottage, reducing it to ashes before the fire department arrived.

The Duncan, Green, Cunningham and Russell mansions were soon a prey to the flames, and were totally destroyed despite the efforts of the firemen, who were hampered by the high wind and inadequate water service. The houses of Amory Lawrence and Senator Henry Cabot Lodge were saved, though in imminent danger for two hours. The houses destroyed were the finest summer residences here, and were being put in readiness for use.

The Longfellow cottage was historic, as there the poet spent his summers for years, and there "The Bells of Lynn" and other poems were written. It was owned by Miss Alice Longfellow, daughter of the poet, and was valued at $15,000. The other losses are: Charles R. Green of New York, $20,000; George Duncan, $25,000; Mrs. Frederick Cunningham of Boston, $20,000, and the estate of the late Samuel H. Russell of Boston, $20,000. All carried insurance.

The Daily Inter Ocean, Chicago, IL 19 May 1896