Brooklyn, NY Conway Theater Disaster, Dec 1876

Brooklyn NY Brooklyn Theater Fire.jpg Memorial To Victims Of Theater Brooklyn NY Brooklyn Theater before fire.jpg Brooklyn NY Brooklyn Theater Fire 2.jpg

JOHN TRACEY, aged 17, 242 Wyckoff street.
ROSE JACKSON, aged 35, 445 Atlantic avenue.
MATTHEW FADEN, aged 21, 209 Jay street.
LAWRENCE LAMB, aged 21, 311 Plymouth street.
WILLIAM DOLNON, aged 18, 229 Navy street.
CHARLES HARRISON, aged 14, 349 Bridge street.
EDWARD DELYEATREE, aged 19, 66 Smith street.
JOHN GUNN, aged 28, 246 Adams street.
GEORGE BOLDRIDGE, aged 22, 246 Adams street.
BENNITT BYRNE, aged 15, 233 Plymouth street.
JAMES McLEAN, aged 20, 169 Myrtle avenue.
JOHN WOOD, aged 23, 101 Fleet street.
HARRIET COLLINS, aged 14, 101 President street.
JOHN DEMPSEY, aged 18, 103 President street.
JOSEPH CIGLIER, aged 19, 296 Atlantic avenue.
DANIEL MOCKLER, aged 19, 94 Hudson avenue.
JAMES GOODWIN, aged 22, 495 Court street.
ARIURA ABRAM, aged 18, 341 Hamilton avenue.
GEORGE LARTIMER, aged 31, Pearl and Concord streets
CALEB LEVERICH, aged 35, 105 Clermont avenue.
MICHAEL CONROY, aged 18, 236 Plymouth street.
JAMES COLLOM, aged 13, 46 Amity street.
JOHN KENNEDY, aged 18, 81 Gold street.
LEWIS ALBERTS, aged 17, 266 Atlantic street.
ARMAUDO ALBERTS, aged 18, 266 Atlantic street.
PATRICK BRODERICK, aged 17, 85 Sackett street.
JAMES DOONER, aged 20, corner Willoughby and Canton streets.
GEORGE STEPHENS, aged 15, 214 Jay street.
MISS BROWN, aged 17, 520 Hicks street.
CALEB J. LEVERICH, aged 35, Clermont avenue.
FRANK GREEN, aged 18, 1,029 Lafayette avenue.
FRANK PICKFORD, aged 18, Patchon avenue.
STEWART HAND, aged 20, State street, corner Smith.
FREDERICK HURB, aged 22, Livingston street.
THOMAS ROBINSON, aged 19, 25 Willoughby street.
MORTIMER CAVANS, aged 19, 474 Hudson avenue.
________ REUSH, 88 Nelson street.

The dimensions of the awful calamity which has befallen the City of Brooklyn in the destruction of its principal theatre by fire and the consequent loss of life have not yet been realized. Enough is known, however, to make it certain that the catastrophe ranks among the most fatal of the kind every recorded. The theatre, which was built by MESSRS. KINGSLEY & KEENEY, and finished in 1871, was opened in the Fall of that year, under the management of MR. and MRS. F. B. CONWAY.
After MR. CONWAY'S death, MRS. CONWAY assumed control, and at her death her daughters succeeded her. Their management, however, was not successful, and in the Fall of 1875 MESSRS. SHOOK & PALMER, of the Union Square Theatre, New York, became the lessees. The theatre was elegant in its appointments, and under the new management promised to continue to be one of the most attractive places of amusement in the two great sister cities. The value of the building was estimated at $100,000, and the stage properties and wardrobe were valued at $25,000. There was an insurance of $40,000 odd on the one and none on the other.

The Cause Of The Fire.
According to the statements of all parties who profess to know anything as to the origin of the fire, it began on the stage. The Business Manager, MR. ROGERS, who may be supposed to possess the most accurate information on the subject, says that one of the pieces of canvas out of which trees and soforth are made, was broken from its fastenings and hung from the files immediately over one of the border lights near the centre of the stage. The canvas had begun to amoulder and the paint on it to crackle, and the carpenter was directed to ascent to one of the grooves and remove the dangerous object. He could barely reach it with his hand, and he drew it hastily up. The rapid motion through the air of the half ignited and highly inflammable canvas, caused it to burst into a flame, which rapidly spread to the adjoining material, equally susceptible. All efforts to extinguish the flames were abortive, and the carpenter had to retire to save his own life.

The Spread Of The Conflagration.
The actors on the stage who were engaged in the last act of "The Two Orphans" were aware that an incipient fire was overhead, but they proceeded with their parts in hopes that the danger would pass away. Soon, however, sparks began to show themselves and the unmistakable crackling of fire was heard. Then an ember dropped on the stage, and the canvas which formed the roof of the hut in which the scene enacted was supposed to take place, burst into flames. With the rapidity of thought the fire ran along the inflammable material until the woodwork caught and the whole stage was enveloped in flame and smoke. The burning fragments of scenery began to fall and the actors quitted the stage. Soon afterward a tremendous rush of air, setting in from the stage toward the place of exit, brought the flames with it. They crept up the woodwork and along the furniture, and the end soon came.

Continued