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The Meetinghouse Tragedy: An Episode in the Life of a New England Town

Clark, Charles E.

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ISBN 10: 0874518873 / ISBN 13: 9780874518870
Published by New Hampshire
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Paisleyhaze Books (New Hartford, CT, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

0874518873 Univ of New Hampshire hardcover w/dustjacket, 1998, 1st edition, clean/tight, No marks/tears or defects.Fine/Fine (like new).New mylar cover, bubble-wrapped and mailed in a Box w/delivery confirmation. Bookseller Inventory # 46796

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Meetinghouse Tragedy: An Episode in the ...

Publisher: New Hampshire

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

About this title

Synopsis:

On a fine September day in 1773 the people of Wilton, New Hampshire gathered to realize their dream, laboring together to raise the frame of a brand new meetinghouse that would be the literal and symbolic center of this small farming community nestled near the Massachusetts line. But the dream became nightmare when a huge center roof beam, temporarily shored up by a treetrunk, gave way, dropping fifty-three workers three stories to the ground and collapsing tons of trusswork, planks and joists, and metal tools in on them. Five died, and every other man was injured, many seriously.

The catastrophe might have been lost in history had Charles E. Clark not discovered an heirloom copy of an anonymous, 43-stanza ballad memorializing it. Sifting through clues from the ballad and from archival records, Clark first pieces together the mystery to give a full picture of the events leading up to and surrounding the disaster and then examines the social, cultural, and theological impact of such a central experience upon Wilton's residents. From lighthearted festival (the town had voted to provide six barrels of rum for the occasion) to message from an angry God, the meetinghouse tragedy thus becomes both a paradigm of the elastic, sustaining nature of community in colonial America and a fascinating glimpse into architectural history and construction techniques, popular and folk culture, religious traditions, and the ways communal memories are formed and then endure.

From the Publisher:

5 1/2 x 8 1/2 trim. 9 illus. 7 drawings. 2 maps. LC 98-23577

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