Lightening Storm in Poughkeepsie

Transcribed by Debbie Axtman

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Lightening Storm in Poughkeepsie

On the afternoon of the 12th of August, 1840, a terrific thunder storm arose. During its progress the air was filled with sulphur, and "so incessant was the lightening that Main and Market Streets seemed to be one vivid sheet of fire." Major Hatch then kept Forbus House. He was sitting with his back against the bell-knob, in company with Gilbert V. Wilkinson and Charles Potter. The lightening entered a room on the second floor, and followed the bell-wire down to the knob and on the right side of the front door, striking the Major in the back, killing him instantly, and rendering his companions insensible. A ball of fire entered a room on the first floor of a house on Cannon Street, where it separated, one portion passing out of the front door, and the other going through the kitchen, striking senseless a girl who was at work there. Several other buildings about the town were damaged; the bells all rang the fire alarm, and general consternation prevailed among the people.


General History of Duchess County, 1609 to 1876, by Philip H. Smith, Pawling, NY, 1877, pgs. 361 and 362

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Transcribed by Debbie Axtman

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Copyright Dutchess, ALHN October 10, 1999

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