Fire at St. Mary’s School


On the morning of January 30, 1953, there was a disastrous fire at St. Mary’s School in Willimantic, CT. The fire, which originated in the boiler room, raged for five hours and destroyed the building. I found these going through some of the old family photos, threw them on the scanner and cleaned them up. I think that everyone in our town has one or two of these photos of the fire lying around in a box or an album. The tight-knit community banded together, raised money, and the new school was dedicated in 1955. There’s one more photo behind the cut. 


This entry was posted in Blast from the Past, Photo Restoration and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Fire at St. Mary’s School

  1. Old NFO says:

    Things like that were handled in the community, not going crying to .gov… sigh…

  2. Tina says:

    The fire was on a Friday morning, they began fundraising THAT night. Also interesting was that a public school made room to accommodate to students until a new school could be built. Can you imagine that happening now?

  3. Kenneth Adams says:

    I started kindergarten that year. We were sent to the convent accross the street from St. Joe church for classes until the new school could be built.

  4. Tina says:

    Thanks for commenting! Natchaug School also took in some of the students. My grandfather was a custodian for St. Mary’s Church, they lived in a house right on the corner where the school library is now. The house was torn down so the new school could be built.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.