Charlestown Library To Hold a Book Presentation on ‘The Great Boston Fire’

A book presentation on The Great Boston Fire: The Inferno That Nearly Incinerated The City by author Stephanie Schorow is planned at the Charlestown Library on Oct 27. The event is hosted by the Friends of the Charlestown Branch of the Boston Public Library on Thursday, October 27, 6:30 pm and is free and open to all, including a book signing. Wheelchair accessible; conveniently located near public transportation. Charlestown Branch Library, 179 Main Street, Charlestown. For more information: BranchLibrary, [email protected], 617-242-1248. For two days in November 1872, a massive fire swept through Boston, leaving the downtown in ruins and the population traumatized. Coming barely a year after the infamous Chicago fire, Boston’s inferno turned out to be one of the most calamitous in Boston’s history, as well as one of the most expensive fires per acre in U.S. history. The downtown fire spanned two days and would end up destroying 776 buildings across 65 acres of land. The fire spread easily across the wooden roofs of buildings, where the fire department struggled to get enough water pressure to put the fire out. Many firefighting units rushed in from neighboring towns, including Charlestown. Adjacent states also scrambled to assist in the firefighting effort. Yet today few are aware of how close Boston came to total destruction. Boston author Stephanie Schorow masterfully recounts the fire’s history from the foolish decisions that precipitated it to the heroics of firefighters who fought it. Published last November, The Great Boston Fire was written to commemorate the 150th anniversary of this massive fire, which took place specifically on November 9 and 10, 1872. Lavishly illustrated with period artwork and photographs and published just before the fire’s 150th anniversary, The Great Boston Fire, selected by WBUR for its 2022 Winter Book Guide, captures the drama of a life-and-death battle in the heart of the city. Stephanie Schorow is a veteran journalist who has worked for the Boston Herald, the Associated Press, and other media. Her previous books include Inside the Combat Zone: The Stripped Down Story of Boston’s Most Notorious Neighborhood; Drinking Boston: A History of the City and its Spirits; Boston on Fire: A History of Fires and Firefighting in Boston; and The Cocoanut Grove Fire. The Friends of the Charlestown Branch of the Boston Public Library was formed in 1953, becoming the second Friends group to organize within the Boston Public Library system. As a non-profit organization, the Friends schedule four to six evening adult programs per year, helps to support programs for children held during the day, and maintains the library’s landscaping. The mission of the Friends remains today what it was in 1953: to serve as an advocacy and support group for the needs of the Charlestown Branch Library, its staff, and users. BranchLibrary.

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