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Avalanche of Clay

Excerpted from the book
Troy’s One Hundred Years 1789-1889
Published in 1891 by William H. Young, 7 and 9 First Street, Troy, NY

The great avalanche of clay, which slid from the west side of Mount Ida, about seven o’clock, on Sunday evening, January 1st, 1837, was a most calamitous occurrence. Two stables, containing twenty-two horses, and three dwellings, in which were seven persons, were crushed and buried beneath the weighty material, which was carried the distance of 500 feet westward, covering many acres of land at the eastern end of Washington Street.

From the shattered dwelling of John Grace, his body and that of his wife were exhumed, and also the little son of the death father and mother, “very little hurt, bare-footed and bareheaded.” Two boys, one four and the other eight years old, children of Mrs. Leavensworth, were shockingly crushed, while the mother and another of her children were extricated from the debris of their wrecked home, greatly bruised. Of the twenty-two horses, only six escaped death. The dislodged clay was used to heighten the level of the low part of the city along the line of Washington Street.