Christmas Eve (1917)

Christmas Eve 1917 wasn’t such a cheery day for West Boylston. The townspeople awoke to find that, during the night, Town Hall had burned to the ground. The fire started around 2:30 in the morning and raged until the whole structure had crumbled. Neighboring homes and businesses caught fire as well but were extinguished quickly enough to save them from any damage. For Town Hall, however, there was no hope.

This town hall stood at the corner of Crescent and Prospect Streets where the Municipal Lighting Plant now stands. The town hall was only built in 1903 following the construction of the reservoir and removal of old town hall. The fire was a dreadful disaster and robbed West Boylston of a permanent location for its town offices for decades.

Below is Mary Cook’s full, detailed account on the fire; Cook was a West Boylston resident for many years and wrote daily reports on town happenings to be published in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

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