Arthur Taylor (1917)

Arthur Taylor was a West Boylston resident one hundred years ago who escaped death while out of town in December 1917. He was unlucky enough to be in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada on December 6, 1917, when one of the worst maritime disasters in history occurred: a ship carrying explosives and sailing to Halifax Harbor caught fire and inevitably exploded. The explosion wiped out all nearby structures and trees and caused fires to spread across the city. Nearly two thousand people perished as a result of the explosion, the collapse of affected buildings, and a tsunami caused by the blast. Thousands others were injured or left homeless.

Arthur Taylor survived the blast and managed to write home to his wife in West Boylston. Though we know little else about his life from Mary Cook’s write-up in her column in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, we can imagine the terror he felt during the explosion and his wife’s terror when she heard about the explosion. From this small paragraph, we know that Arthur Taylor returned home to his wife unscathed but with new terrifying, sad stories to share with the people of West Boylston.

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