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Topic: Dec 6, 1917 (Read 566 times) previous topic - next topic

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  • Brother Daniel
  • Global Moderator
  • predisposed to antagonism
Dec 6, 1917
100 years ago.  That day was rather unfortunate for this city.

  • borealis
  • Administrator
Re: Dec 6, 1917
Reply #1
Years ago I rented a small apt. from a family. The husband was blind in one eye, having been injured as a toddler victim of the explosion. He said his mother had terrible burn scars, having had the lit kitchen coal stove fall apart on top of her legs and back.

  • nostrum
  • easily led
Re: Dec 6, 1917
Reply #2
god, that was awful

  • Brother Daniel
  • Global Moderator
  • predisposed to antagonism
Re: Dec 6, 1917
Reply #3
Yeah aside from thousands dead and thousands injured, arguably December is not the best time of year to find yourself homeless.

A significant amount of help came in from elsewhere, afterwards.  Notably from Boston.  So we've been in the habit of sending a big Christmas tree to Boston every year since then as a thank you.  (Of course, being Americans, they use it as fuel for their own internal religious wars.  They're all tied in knots over whether they can explicitly call it a "Christmas tree".)

The ties between Nova Scotia and New England go way back.  Even when we were formally at war (1812-1814), we kept up a friendly trade with each other in spite of what the bigwigs in London and Washington wanted.  (Or so I've been told.  I'm no historian.)

  • el jefe
  • asleep till 2020 or 2024
Re: Dec 6, 1917
Reply #4
terrible but interesting stuff.

  • borealis
  • Administrator
Re: Dec 6, 1917
Reply #5
Quote
The North End Halifax neighbourhood of Richmond bore the brunt of the explosion.[108] In 1917, Richmond was considered a working-class neighbourhood and had few paved roads. After the explosion, the Halifax Relief Commission approached the reconstruction of Richmond as an opportunity to improve and modernize the city's North End. English town planner Thomas Adams and Montreal architectural firm Ross and Macdonald were recruited to design a new housing plan for Richmond. Adams, inspired by the Victorian garden city movement, aimed to provide public access to green spaces and to create a low-rise, low-density and multifunctional urban neighbourhood.[140][123] The planners designed 326 large homes that each faced a tree-lined, paved boulevard.[141] They specified that the homes be built with a new and innovative fireproof material, blocks of compressed cement called Hydrostone.[142][123] The first of these homes was occupied by March 1919.[142] Once finished, the Hydrostone neighbourhood consisted of homes, businesses and parks, which helped create a new sense of community in the North End of Halifax. It has now become an upscale neighbourhood and shopping district.[143] In contrast, the equally poor and underdeveloped area of Africville was not included in reconstruction efforts.[123]

Until at least the mid 80s, the Hydrostone was not an upscale neighbourhood. It was a highly desirable area for North End families, many of whom had lived in the area since well before the Explosion. Halifax's North End had been considered a poor and somewhat disreputable neighbourhood, in part because many Black families had settled there. I remember Young Street, the South edge of the Hydrostone, when the only shops were a small hardware store and a low-end antique store. The hardware store was old enough that some of its stock was older than what could be found in the antique store.

  • Y.B
Re: Dec 6, 1917
Reply #6
Thought this thread was going to be about Finnish independence.

  • Brother Daniel
  • Global Moderator
  • predisposed to antagonism
Re: Dec 6, 1917
Reply #7
We could make it about that too!

Re: Dec 6, 1917
Reply #8
Why do I bother?

  • Bilirubin
  • Ain't nothing ta fuck wit'
Re: Dec 6, 1917
Reply #9
Yeah aside from thousands dead and thousands injured, arguably December is not the best time of year to find yourself homeless.

A significant amount of help came in from elsewhere, afterwards.  Notably from Boston.  So we've been in the habit of sending a big Christmas tree to Boston every year since then as a thank you.  (Of course, being Americans, they use it as fuel for their own internal religious wars.  They're all tied in knots over whether they can explicitly call it a "Christmas tree".)

The ties between Nova Scotia and New England go way back.  Even when we were formally at war (1812-1814), we kept up a friendly trade with each other in spite of what the bigwigs in London and Washington wanted.  (Or so I've been told.  I'm no historian.)
My family who in part founded Salem, MA, split apart during the American Revolutionary War, with many moving north as Union Loyalists. When in Halifax in the fall working in the Natural History Museum the collections manager asked whether I was related to folks in Joggins (a major fossil site) by the same name.

That my work should bring me back to long lost cousins. Amazing.

  • el jefe
  • asleep till 2020 or 2024
Re: Dec 6, 1917
Reply #10
you should dig them up and say hi

  • borealis
  • Administrator
Re: Dec 6, 1917
Reply #11
 :staregonk:  I expect some of them are still alive.

Boston in particular is full of Americans with Nova Scotia ties, dating back well before the Explosion. Lots of 19th century NS girls went there as maids for rich families. 'The Boston States' was a popular destination for travellers.

  • Bilirubin
  • Ain't nothing ta fuck wit'
Re: Dec 6, 1917
Reply #12
Yes still alive.

Unlike another long lost cousin from the same family, a paleontologist, who died in the hallway outside of his office at the University of Michigan. Where I did my undergrad, in paleontology.

Its destiny I tells ya!

  • Bilirubin
  • Ain't nothing ta fuck wit'
Re: Dec 6, 1917
Reply #13
Quote
The North End Halifax neighbourhood of Richmond bore the brunt of the explosion.[108] In 1917, Richmond was considered a working-class neighbourhood and had few paved roads. After the explosion, the Halifax Relief Commission approached the reconstruction of Richmond as an opportunity to improve and modernize the city's North End. English town planner Thomas Adams and Montreal architectural firm Ross and Macdonald were recruited to design a new housing plan for Richmond. Adams, inspired by the Victorian garden city movement, aimed to provide public access to green spaces and to create a low-rise, low-density and multifunctional urban neighbourhood.[140][123] The planners designed 326 large homes that each faced a tree-lined, paved boulevard.[141] They specified that the homes be built with a new and innovative fireproof material, blocks of compressed cement called Hydrostone.[142][123] The first of these homes was occupied by March 1919.[142] Once finished, the Hydrostone neighbourhood consisted of homes, businesses and parks, which helped create a new sense of community in the North End of Halifax. It has now become an upscale neighbourhood and shopping district.[143] In contrast, the equally poor and underdeveloped area of Africville was not included in reconstruction efforts.[123]

Until at least the mid 80s, the Hydrostone was not an upscale neighbourhood. It was a highly desirable area for North End families, many of whom had lived in the area since well before the Explosion. Halifax's North End had been considered a poor and somewhat disreputable neighbourhood, in part because many Black families had settled there. I remember Young Street, the South edge of the Hydrostone, when the only shops were a small hardware store and a low-end antique store. The hardware store was old enough that some of its stock was older than what could be found in the antique store.

I recently heard a story on the CBC about the laws prohibiting property ownership among Black families in Nova Scotia, so that despite being the same home for many generations in places like East Preston (RIP Africville) they do not hold title. Some really archaic British laws from the 18th century or something. There was an extensive interview with a local lawyer fighting to end this.

Also the sheer number of Black Nova Scotian communities mentioned in the report was surprising to me. Not sure why, perhaps because as a non Nova Scotian I've only heard of the major few (East Preston unfortunately for trumped up stories about gang violence and rap bands).

Re: Dec 6, 1917
Reply #14

I'm reminded of the Texas City explosion of the Grancamp in 1946. Above are cars parked 1/4 mile away from the explosion.  Note that there's no glass in any of the windshields.

Apparently, the 5-ton main anchor of the Grancamp landed half a mile away and became a memorial. Another 2 ton anchor of the Grancamp was found 1.6 miles away in a 10 foot crater.
2,300 tons of Ammonia Nitrate was aboard the Grancamp, with another nearly 1000 tons in the High Flyer, 600 feet away.

Quote from: Dave Hawkins on Sun Jan 14 2018 19:59:03 GMT-0600 (Central Standard Time)
you suck at truth detection. (And spelling)