On the night of December 5,
1876, over 300 people (including some of
the actors) who had come to see the
popular actress Kate Claxton in "The
Two Orphans" died in a fire that
engulfed the Brooklyn Theatre.
The L-shaped theatre built
in 1871, occupied a large portion
of the Johnson Street
blockfront. Started by a kerosene lamp,
that swept up the ceiling and turned the
auditorium into an inferno. The
theatre had no fire escapes
and only 5 narrow exits.
Unidentified bodies were
buried in a common grave in Greenwood
A monument was erected to
the victims of one of the worst fires
in history. Modern fire
prevention in public places resulted
in part from the tragedy.