Dartmouth Hall Gutted and Destroyed by Flames - 1935
Today in Hanover and Dartmouth College History April 25, 1935
Dartmouth Hall, the earliest icon of Dartmouth College was consumed by fire again April 25, 1935.
This devastating fire was one of three fires that struck the Dartmouth Campus the night of April 20 1935. Two other piles of combustibles were discovered before being ignited.
The "new" Dartmouth Hall was rebuilt with masonry construction after the devastating fire that completely destroyed the old wooden structure on February 18 1904. The fire was first discovered at 1:20 am on an upper level of the North wing of the building. After an apparent delay of reporting the fire due to confusion of the residents the fire department arrived and hose lines were quickly placed and put into operation. The fire reports indicate that initially the fire was believed to be contained in the upper floor of the north wing. The true extent of the fire spread revealed itself to the fire department when partitions and floors erupted in flames.
The firefighters realizing the fire was running in the walls, moved to the basement and efforts to quench the flames while initially successful did not dampen the spread of the fire through vertical chases and inaccessible shafts. As reports of the windows on the second floor windows all glowing orange with fire Hanover Fire Chief C. H. Lewin ordered the firefighters to work from the outside for fear of loss of life.
The fire quickly spread towards the front of the building and the fire quickly spread vertically and soon the roof and base of the bell tower was ablaze.
The Bell survived the fire and sits in the belfry of Dartmouth Hall today
Members of the Dartmouth Undergraduate Fire Brigade as well as other students, faculty and townspeople volunteered to assist the members of the Hanover Volunteer Fire Department fight the flames. Much of these efforts included manning ground monitors, moving hose, and helping gaining access for large fire streams by throwing rocks to break the glass window panes.
A member of the Dartmouth Undergraduate Fire Brigade wearing his "Crimson Beanie" indicating his membership in the fire brigade
Members of the Dartmouth Undergraduate Fire Brigade pose for Annual Photo.
The Dartmouth Hall Bell survived the inferno.
Looking to the Northeast, Richardson and North Fayerweather Hall
Tower and Cupola Detail drawn by Jens Frederick Larsen
Reconstruction well under way. The new Bell tower framework in place.
Panoramic view from current Dartmouth Hall