In 1919 molasses was the primary sweetener used in the United States. When fermented, it was great for producing rum and other alcoholic beverages. The Purity Distilling Company was a subsided US company specializing in the syrup's distillery. However, tragedy stuck one January afternoon when a huge tank holding the sticky ingredient collapsed and crumbled. The accident unleashed a tidal wave of darkness on the city. Lapping 3 foot waves shook buildings, crushed foundations and flooded the streets. Nearly 150 people were injured and 21 people died including 2 children as they were violently engulfed and strangled in the deadly glaze.
While anarchists were the original scapegoats, evidence would prove the company at fault for overfilling the tank, perhaps in an effort to maximize alcohol production before the pending U.S. prohibition.
On warm summer days many townsfolk claim a tragic sweet smell still lingering in the air.