Long Ago in Cumberland……

March 21, 2010 marked the 60th anniversary of the Monastery Fire.  The fire was discovered under the stairway in the Guest House, one of the first buildings completed on the Monastery Grounds.  Ironically, this building was scheduled to be replaced in future expansions.  As it was mostly made of dry wood, the fire spread quickly.  Winds carried sparks to the roof of the church which quickly became engulfed.  The fire spread through the interior of the church, burning the wooden pews and rood screen.  All 140 monks and guests escaped the fire, but it burned too quickly to save the building or the church.  The cost of the fire was estimated at 2 million dollars in 1950’s money!  The monks decided to move their home to Spencer, Massachusetts where they had purchased property for a second community. The monastery buildings in Cumberland were sold to the Grey Friars.

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