Greater Kennedy Plaza has always been the center of Providence, the central square from which news spreads throughout the city and shock waves can also be felt. On August 23, 1906, shock waves were more than just metaphorical. At 1:30 in the afternoon, residents of downtown Providence heard a tremendous crash, shaking the neighborhood and producing a huge cloud of dust. The following day, The Providence Journal ran a story detailing the shocking cause.
The original article reads:
A 10-ton section of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument fell at 1:30 yesterday afternoon, causing a tremendous crash, a great cloud of dust and doing much damage to the stone work.
So great was the accompanying noise and so distinct was the vibration of the earth that many were led to believe that there had been either an explosion, as of a bomb or a boiler, or that a section of one of the business blocks had fallen.
The monument was being moved from its original location, to the center of Exchange place. Only to be moved again years later.
Thanks so much to Kate Wells at the Rhode Island Collection at the Providence Public Library for helping us locate this article from the archives. Image above is from the original article in The Providence Journal.