Monadnock Moments No. 65: Lightning Strikes
Injuries caused by lightning, because of their frightening and unpredictable nature, were recorded by our ancestors just as they are recorded by us today. One well known case occurred at the home of Daniel Nims in Sullivan in the summer of 1839.
On July 8th of that year the Nims family was preparing to go out for a ride, but delayed the trip because of an approaching shower. Mason Nims, a child of two years, was placed in his cradle to wait for the storm to pass.
Shortly thereafter, a bolt of lightning struck the chimney and passed downward through it, breaking the wall boards and splitting the wall open. The lightning bolt traveled through the hearth and across the room. It entered the corner of the cradle where young Mason was lying, piercing his shoe and travelling the length of his body. Mr. Nims was lying on the floor with his foot against the cradle. The lightning tore the sole from his boot and traveled the length of his body, badly burning his foot, leg, side, and arm. Mrs. Nims was on the opposite side of the cradle with her hand upon it, but she and another child in her lap escaped injury. She ran through the storm to a neighbor’s house for assistance. Young Mason had died instantly, but Mr. Nims recovered from his burns and spent many more years as a successful farmer in Sullivan.