STILL A MYSTERY
Explosion of Powder Magazine at Eveleth.
Sol. Sax One of the Victims Declares That no Lives Were Lost—Missing Man Turns Up—Schools Shut Down Owing to Lack of Windows—Rifle Ball May Have Caused the Accident.
Duluth News-Tribune October 9, 1900
Sol. [Solomon] Sax, a prominent business man of Eveleth, and one of the principal losers as a result of Sunday’s explosion of the Spruce mine powder house, is at the Spalding [Hotel.]
“The blowing up of the magazine was a great surprise to the people of Eveleth,” said he last evening. “Coming as it did toward evening of a Sunday night made it all the more startling. I was in Virginia when the magazine let go there a few years ago and when the one at the Spruce mine exploded Sunday night I knew in an instant what had happened. The effect of the explosion, I presume, was something like that of an earthquake, though it was more sudden and startling. The News Tribune account of the accident was correct except that I think not more than half of the glass in the town is broken and no mirrors are destroyed that I know of. The breakage of bottled goods was considerable but not as great as was at first supposed.
“There was no school at Eveleth yesterday for the reason that all of the windows in the school house are broken. [The Spruce School on Fayal Road was The man who was reported as missing and who, it was thought might in some way accidentally have caused the explosion, has returned and was not in the vicinity of the powder house when it went up. He had been out hunting and the fact that his dogs returned alone led many to believe that the man had lost his life in the accident. It is now thought that no men were around the place at the time. One theory is that a rifle bullet may have accidentally struck the powder house in such a way as to set the explosion off. It is fortunate that the shock did not set off the powder house at the Adams mine, situated about half a mile distant.”
Mr. Sax was more fortunate that most of the other people who sustained loss on that account, as he carried plate glass insurance. As the principal item of damage in the town was that to windows there will be a great demand for glaziers for a time. Mr. Sax estimates the loss occasioned by the explosion, at about $10,000. His own loss was upwards of $350 on plate glass. He sustained loss on common glass for a considerable amount also. Mr. Sax says that C. E. Bailey, D. T. Adams, A. J. Kingston, William Coss and H. Hookwith also sustained substantial loss from the breakage of glass.