From The Vineyard Gazette, Aug. 1, 1851
THUNDERSTORM -- MELANCHOLY LOSS OF LIFE. -- One of the severest thunder storms within our remembrance, passed over the Vineyard on Tuesday forenoon last, by which two valuable lives were lost, and three or four persons injured. At Chabaquidic, Mr. Wm. Brown was struck by lightning. He had been out gathering blackberries, and as the storm came on, sought shelter in a house occupied by the widow of the late Simeon Goodrich. He had just entered the dwelling, and was tracing the passage way, when the fluid entered the house by the outside of the chimney, and struck Mr. B. on the right side of the head and face, which parts were badly burned and the skin taken off. It passed down upon the shoulder and hip, and then off by the feet. Mr. Brown was rendered insensible, but is now doing well. The lightning descended the inside of the chimney to the adjoining room, knocking down the fire board, throwing the stove into the middle of the room, and laying Mrs. G. prostrate. She was not seriously hurt, however. Two or three children, who were in the apartment at the time, escaped unharmed.
At Holmes Hole, Mr. Francis Nye, Jr., and Mrs. Elwina Norris, widow of Capt. Howes Norris, were instantly killed. Mr. Nye was in the cellar of his paint shop, on the Main street. The fluid entered the building from the roof, striking the chimney, which it shattered, passed below, breaking out the windows, and rendering the shop a complete wreck. A portion of the fluid descended to the cellar, instantly depriving Mr. Nye of life. It struck him on the head and shoulder, and passed off by the hip and feet. The skin was peeled off and the flesh badly burned. Mr. N's shoe was cut directly in two, lengthwise. Mr. Nye was a business man of excellent character, and his loss is greatly to be deplored. He leaves a wife and one child.
There were 2 other persons in the building at the time, one of whom was rendered senseless - the other had an arm paralyzed. They are convalescent.
Mrs. Norris's dwelling house is on the same street, and not far from Mr. Nye's store. The lightning descended through the roof, and shattered the whole house considerably. The fluid came out over the mantle piece in the room in which Mrs. Norris was sitting, with several friends, and is supposed to have entered her ear. It slightly scorched her neck, but there was no other trace of it on her person. She was instantly killed. No other person was injured to any extent. The hands on the clock were melted, as also the brasses which supported the fire set. - Mrs. Norris was about 44 years of age, a highly respected lady, and her death has cast a gloom over the circle in which she moved. - She leaves four children to mourn her loss.
The cloud from which the electric fluid was discharged, hung directly over Holmes Hole for twenty or thirty minutes, during which time there was an almost uninterrupted flash of lightning and roar of thunder. The scene was frightful and appalling, and made the stoutest hearts to quail.
On Sunday last, the lightning struck the cooper shop in Holmes Hole, owned by Thomas Bradley, Esq. Mrs. Gustavus D. Smith, who was sitting at an open window, near by, singing, received a charge of electricity in the mouth, which paralyzed her tongue, and rendered her speechless. She fortunately, soon recovered.
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