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The Bond Dance Hall Explosion: Background information when reading The Flower Sisters

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The Flower Sisters by Michelle Collins Anderson

The Flower Sisters

by Michelle Collins Anderson
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  • Apr 2024
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The Bond Dance Hall Explosion

This article relates to The Flower Sisters

large gravestone monument for victims of explosionMichelle Collins Anderson's historical novel The Flower Sisters draws inspiration from a tragic event that occurred in the author's hometown of West Plains, Missouri: the explosion of a dance hall packed with young dancers, the cause of which was never determined.

It was Friday, April 13, 1928. The Bond Dance Hall was located on the second floor of a brick building; a mechanic's shop called Wiser's Garage was on the ground floor. Most Friday nights, young members of the West Plains community came together to dance there. On this particular night, the band was playing their last song before an intermission around 11:00 pm when an explosion ripped through the building, resulting in flames as high as 150 feet. It collapsed quickly, burying attendees under rubble.

After the explosion, townspeople and rescue workers rushed to the scene and heroically dug through the burning debris for survivors. One account of the incident singles out local high school football player Lester ...

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