Gorham, ME Powder Mill Explosion, Jul 1828

On Saturday last, a few minutes past 6 o'clock, P. M. the Pounding Mill of the Cumberland Powder Manufactory, owned by Messrs. Fowler and Loomis, situated in Gorham, was destroyed by the explosion of sixteen casks of unfinished powder. The accident was occasioned by the friction of a pestle upon the "hard bottom" of the mill. Two workmen only are usually employed in this department at the same time. But, unfortunately, at the time mentioned, six were present, having finished their labor in the other buildings, and being on their way home. All were so greatly injured as to survive the explosion but a few hours. Their names and places of residence were as follows:

Wm. MOSES, JAMES GREEN, and NOAH BABB, all of Standish--- JOSIAH CLARK, and HANSON IRISH, of Gorham--- Major MEANS, of Windham.

Mr. Daniel Moses, a brother of the above named Mr. Moses, who was also present viewing the works, was so badly injured as to render his life hopeless, and from our latest accounts, we presume he is no longer alive. All, we understand were single men and of industrious habits. The loss of property is but trifling.---Ib.

New-Hampshire Patriot & State Gazette, Concord, NH 28 Jul 1828


Shocking Accident.---An explosion took place in one of the Powder Mills in Gorham, July 19th which occasioned the death of six of the workmen, viz: Wm. Moses, Noah Babb and James Green, of Standish---Josiah Clark, Jr., and Hanson Irish, of Gorham, and Major Means, of Windham---all young men without families. Daniel Moses, of Standish, was also injured to such a degree that his life was despaired of, although he was alive on Monday morning. The melancholy accident, says the Portland Advertiser of yesterday, was occasioned in exchanging the composition from one mortar to another. A young man, unacquainted with the work, to loosen some of it from the mortar, dropped the copper pestle. He was told to desist by one of the workmen, but repeated it three times, when the powder took fire and exploded about sixteen casks.

American Advocate, Hallowell, ME 25 Jul 1828


July 19, 1828, the blowing up of the powder mill, owned by Fowler and Loomis, occasioned the death of William Moses, Noah Babb, and James Green, of Standish; Josiah Clark, Jr., and Hanson Irish of Gorham and Major Means of Windham.

Publishments, marriages, births and deaths from the earlier records of Gorham, Maine; Maine Genealogical Society, 1897