Troy, NY Landslide Buries Victims, Mar 1890



Troy, N. Y., March 15. -- Two houses on the west side of Warren's Hill were buried under a landslide early this morning, and of the twenty-three persons asleep in them at the time three were killed and several injured.
The houses overwhelmed were a two-story brick structure owned by PATRICK CANFIELD and the one-story dwelling of JOHN LAWRENSON. In the CANFIELD house there were four families, and in the other was a family of seven persons. MRS. MARGARET NOONAN and her daughter, MRS. JOHANNA HOGAN, both widows, and ANNIE BURNS, an eleven-year-old child, were killed outright. MRS. PATRICK CANFIELD, JR., MRS. JOHN AHEARN and her child, and THOMAS LAWRENSON were injured, but none of them seriously. The fire department was summoned and dug out the bodies of the dead and helped the others to get out from the ruins.
The mass of earth which was loosened from the hillside was 50 feet in depth. It covered the two buildings in its way, demolishing them, and pushed the ruins across Havermans avenue. Here its further progress was stopped by a new brick building, which stood on solid foundations. But for this obstacle in its path the slide would have had a clean path to Hill street, where it could not have failed to casue further damage to property, if not loss of life.
The CANFIELD house received the brunt of the shock. As nearly as the survivors of the disaster could tell it was between 2:30 and 3 o'clock when the slide occurred. Not one of the sixteen people in the house was awake, and there was not warning of the death bringing down rush. The walls and beams of the building were thrown down the moment the heavy mass struck it. In the darkness the frightened inmates had little idea of what had happened, and none of those who escaped are albe to tell just how they managed to make their way from under the heap of earth, bricks, and beams.
In the LAWRENSON house were JOHN LAWRENSON and his wife and two children and LAWRENSON'S three brothers. This house was utterly demolished and buried under the wreck of the CANFIELD house. JOHN LAWRENSON was the only one of the inmates who was injured. He received a cut on the head from a brick, which fell on him and gave him his first warning of disaster.
The wildest rumors prevailed as to the loss of life, and it was 8 o'clock, nearly six hours after the slide took place, before the ruins had been excavated so that it could be definitely known how many had been killed. Coroner MACKEY took charge of the bodies of the dead and will hold an inquest.

The New York Times New York 1890-03-16