Earthquake (1755)

Earthquake, newspaper article

The Earthquake of 1755 was the largest earthquake in Massachusetts history, occurring on November 18, 1755 around 4:30 in the morning. The quake originated off of Cape Ann and registered at least as a 6.0 on the Richter scale. The earthquake thankfully did not result in any deaths and did little damage to buildings beyond collapsing chimneys, but its effects were felt as far away as South Carolina.

The 1755 earthquake woke the residents of what would be West Boylston in the middle of the night. (At this time, West Boylston was still part of several other towns.) The quake reportedly “caused kettles and other things to rattle and make much noise, plates and other articles were thrown from shelves, and people who had retired found their beds rocking like cradles.” According to one report, a portion of land in what was then Holden sunk thirty feet as a result of the quake. Despite this commotion, nobody was hurt, and a whole generation of our town’s residents had exciting stories to share with their children and grandchildren.

This small paragraph about the earthquake taken from one of our books in the West Boylston Room.