Precious Blood Church Fire

by Laurel | May 27th, 2010

Scene In Front of the Church During the Fire

Scene In Front of the Church During the Fire

May 27, 1875

Today marks the 135th anniversary of the tragic Precious Blood Church fire in Holyoke. The devastation from this fire received national attention and in part contributed to the modification of building code to promote greater safety. The event was covered in most national papers including the New York Times.

I have published online what I consider to be a very good compilation of articles, images, death records and other resources about this fire. So, instead of attempting to use this small blog space, I will instead direct you to the Precious Blood Church Fire page on and advise you to read the first couple of articles. Then have a look at some of the images originally sketched for and published by The Daily Graphic.

But at the very least, pause a moment to reflect upon this large group of Holyoke people who lost their lives.

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Suggested Holyoke Books

Mountain Park -- The Holyoke destination we all loved.

Mount Holyoke College

Mount Holyoke College, Postcard History by Donna Albino. Many Holyoke women have attended Mount Holyoke. Author also maintains an amazing MHC website based upon her personal collection.

Holyoke - Chicopee, A Perspective

Holyoke-Chicopee: A Perspective, by Ella Merkel DiCarlo. DiCarlo, a former Transcript columnist offers a fascinating compilation of her essays. Published in 1982, this out-of-print book is worth looking for in the aftermarket.


Holyoke, by Craig Della Penna. The first Holyoke book in the Arcadia series, published in 1997.

Belle Skinner Collection

Belle Skinner Collection, by Ruth Isabel Skinner. Published in 1933, this book is long out of print but copies are still available in the aftermarket.

Mitch Epstein: Family Business

Mitch Epstein: Family Business Published in 2003, available in the aftermarket. Epstein's furniture.