Sunday, April 3, 2016
THE PORTLAND TRANSCRIPT, May 22, 1869
Messrs. Cram & Co., of the United States Hotel, served up to a number of
invited guest on Thursday week, the first salmon of the season. With green peas
and other delicacies of the season, the dinner was pronounced a great success by
all present. But this is nothing new at the United States. Mr. Cram is making it
one of the most popular hotels in the state., and often has on his hands more guest
than he can accommodate. A pleasant landlord, a good table and reasonable prices
are always appreciated by the public.
The Chadwick house, which was so sadly shattered by the gas explosion of last
Saturday evening, is one of the oldest mansions in town. It was built in 1765 by
Rev. Samuel Deane, then associate pastor of the First Parish Church, and was one
of the few houses that survived the destruction of the town by Mowatt in 1775.
The lot originally contained three acres, extending from Congress Street to Back
Cove, and was purchased by Mr. Deane of Enoch Moody and Arthur Howard (sic)
for 60 English pounds. The house was originally two stories high, with a hipped
roof, The alteration made after the doctor's death greatly changed its appearance.
It was long owned and occupied by the late Samuel Chadwick, and was recently
sold by his heirs to Mr. Ira P. Farring for $25,000. Mr. Barnum, who occupied it
at the time of the accident, had fitted it up for a boarding house.
A fearful and disastrous explosion of gas took place on Saturday evening last,
is the Chadwick mansion, on Congress Street, occupied by Captain Isaac Barnum.
Workman had taken off a gas bracket in a third story chamber, and neglected to
plug up the pipe. The gas leaking out, Mr. Barnum lighted the gas below, went up to
discover the cause, and no sooner opened the door than a terrific explosion took
place, raising the roof, blowing out the wall, and making a complete wreck of the
upper part of the house. Mr. Barnum was thrown down and so fearfully burned that
he was unconscious most of the day Sunday, but in the evening was comparatively
comfortable. Mrs. Barnum was somewhat burned in tearing the burning clothes
from her husband. The explosion was very loud and caused a great sensation in
the neighborhood. Crowds surrounded the house on Sunday. The accident was very
severe to Capt. Barnum, causing much loss as well as suffering, and we cannot doubt
there will be a generous response to Mayor Putnam's call in his behalf, for pecuniary
Mr. C. S. Robbins, of Winthrop, writes us that in taking down the frame of an old
house in which he and his father before him were born-the latter now nearly 80 years
old-he found the timbers sound, and among them picked up a old copper coin which he
sends us. It is one of the Nova Constellatio coppers, which appeared in immense
quantities in 1783, and were probably struck in England. During the Revolutionary
War no coins were issued, and at it close there was a loud and imperative demand
for them, which was answered in all directions. There are five varieties of this copper.
The one before us has an eye with stars around in on one side, with the word Nova
Constellatio; on the other Libertus Justitia, in 1783, with U. S. in the center,
surrounded by a wreath.