• Home
  • Tragedy strikes the Brigham Young Academy

Tragedy strikes the Brigham Young Academy

The fire ravaged Lewis Building, 1884

The fire ravaged Lewis Building, 1884

On Sunday January 28th, 1884 tragedy struck the Brigham Young Academy. Fire destroyed the only home that the young institution had known. Students and members of the community had frantically formed a bucket brigade to save the burning building but their efforts were unsuccessful. They were able to salvage most of the furniture and books and equipment on the first floor of the building. An organ and some other furniture was saved from the second floor. The academy would bounce around from temporary location to temporary location for the next eight years before a new home was completed.

UA 179 contains a poem by Aretta Young entitled “On the burning of the Brigham Young Academy at Provo, 1884” that discusses the tragedy.

The history of Brigham Young Academy, and its successor Brigham Young University, is a remarkable one and it can be studied in the University Archives. To learn more about the sources available for studying this institution’s history, contact the University Archivist at (801) 422-5821 or gordon_daines@byu.edu.

Recent Posts