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Boston's Great Fire of 1872

Wednesday, March 13, 2024 from 6:30pm EST to 7:30pm EST

Boston's Great Fire of 1872

Tour Description

Explore Boston’s rebirth after the Great Fire of 1872. In this virtual program we’ll explore the route of the progression of the Great Fire, a disaster in Boston's commercial district that proved more costly than the legendary Chicago Fire the year before. Hear how the city's architectural design contributed to the spread and speed of the devastating conflagration, and learn how these fires reformed our fire prevention policies in America.

In the late 1700s and early 1800s, this area was made up of some of Boston’s most fashionable residences, occupied by some of Boston’s most prominent citizens. Just prior to the Civil War, it became commercialized and was the center of the dry goods, wool, shoe, and leather industries in New England. Then, on Saturday night, November 9, 1872, fire destroyed the entire area. It then became known as the Burned or Burnt District. It was quickly rebuilt, however. The new granite, brick, and sandstone structures were described by contemporaries as “palaces” — commercial palaces, many of which remain today.

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Private Tours

Boston By Foot private tours are perfect for family groups, school groups, corporate groups, university and alumni groups, people who wish to tour with their pets, and anyone looking for a more personalized tour experience.

This tour is not currently available as a private tour.

“We had an excellent tour guide. He was so knowledgeable and fully engaged the children. He made sure that they heard facts that would interest them while still giving so much historical information. I wish I had learned history the way your guide taught it!”
— New Jersey