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APRIL 2000Volume 2 Number 2

Hartford Flood, March 1936

Photo of Hartford Flood

Ella Fairchild Burr to Daughter, Elena, describing flood in her March 25 letter, 1936
[In March 1936, Ella Fairchild Burr was President of the Connecticut Women's Temperance Union which had an office at 36 Pearl St. Her husband, Louis St. Clair Burr, also had a real estate office at that address, and the couple ran another business, the Cleveland Legal Blank Service from there. The Burrs lived in Manchester at the time. During the Flood of 1936, they could not return to their house and used the office on Pearl St. as temporary quarters.]

Dear Elena:
This letter may be as long reaching you as the other for mail conditions must be very bad. No trains had gone beyond Hartford either north or east for a week. We hope this afternoon we are going to get across the [Bulkeley] bridge...

Even this morning we had to walk up the stairs and the only light in Father's office [at 36 Pearl St.] is a barn lantern. It is certainly lucky that I had this office for a refuge. They say a main is broken on Pearl Street and that is why this building and those around it even down to the [Hartford] Times building [on Prospect St.] are without light and power. It is astounding what it does to everyone, even those who have suffered no injury or direct loss. I told one of the girls in the bank this morning that I felt like a ghost moving around among ghosts. However, it will soon be over, but people must never stop talking about it in this generation.

However, I don't think there is any cause for regret not to be in it for it certainly was depressing. No street lights, although I did not see that phase of it, but yesterday morning we could only get as far as the Hartford Hospital because we could not pass the line of militia [Connecticut National Guard]. They were posted on every avenue inot [sic.] the city to keep the traffic out of the distressed area. You know how beautiful the new [SNET] telephone building is facing the [Bushnell] park. That had water all over the first floor. Hotel Bond first floor will have to be done over and what it has done to Myron's church in the Meadows we don't know, but all the beautiful interior must be ruined. The Central Baptist [Church on Main St.] had to close because the basement was flooded and put out the fires. There will certainly be work enough to be done if anyone has money to pay for it.

Our lights have just come on and do we feel happy. I went up to Morgan Street corner this Noon and saw cars passing over the [Bulkeley] bridge so we think we shall soon be home.

I hope you are well and happy..........Your loving, "Mama"

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