The purpose of this site is to provide online materials for researchers, educators, and students of 19th century America,
and 19th century Boston, in particular. For educators interested in a comprehensive
teaching guide, send us an email. Researchers can easily use the tools and resources here.
For example, displayed online are the Boston Directory of 1870 and the Boston
Directory of 1872. In the directories you will see a microcosm 19th century life, from horse-drawn streetcar schedules to the cost of the latest hoop skirt. Fortunately, these Directories come with the familiar comfort of advertising everywhere, now as then, at no extra charge.
Specialists might enjoy the online database access to each head of household in Boston, along with address and occupation. When combined with data from census reports, genealogists will think they have died and gone to heaven.
Many of the primary documents used in the research of the film itself are here including the transcribed testimony of almost two hundred witnesses in The Report of the Commission Investigating the Great Fire. Derived from that Report and an insurance map of 1871 is an annotated map of Boston’s 1872 commercial district, building-by-building, street-by-street along with an illustration of the progress of the fire.
"Damrell’s Fire" was released on national public
television in April 2006. For more information go to About