Friday, December 12, 2014

Friday Fotos (December 12, 2014) -- Aftermath of the 1938 Hurricane

551 High Street, Cumberland, Rhode Island.  Home of Everett and Ruth Carpenter.

One of the most devastating storms to hit the northeast United States was the September 21, 1938 hurricane.  My father was 16 years old and living in Woonsocket, Rhode Island the day it arrived almost without warning.  He remembers well running around the neighborhood with a hastily donned leather football helmet looking for his missing younger brother -- who was discovered playing in a friend's cellar completely oblivious to the storm raging outside.  

Recently, a cache of snapshots taken at my maternal grandparents' home in Cumberland, Rhode Island was rediscovered among boxes of family photographs. Several of them were taken in the aftermath of the 1938 hurricane and they are shown below.

The family home is shown above sometime prior to 1938. The low extension at the back of the home is where the kitchen was and you can see a tall chimney rising above the kitchen roof. During the storm, that chimney came down as shown in one of the snapshots below and my grandmother was in the kitchen when it happened -- but she was unharmed. As the snapshot below depicts, the kitchen roof was able to support the fallen chimney and prevented it from coming through into the kitchen.

As the snapshots show, many trees were lost as was a section of the barn and one of the outbuildings.

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Scans of original snapshots in the collection of the author.
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Copyright 2014, John D. Tew
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