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The West Plains Dance Hall Explosion

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4.18  ·  Rating details ·  28 ratings  ·  7 reviews
The 1928 explosion that transformed a West Plains dance hall into a raging inferno sparked feverish national media attention and decades of bitterness in the Missouri town it tore apart. And while the story inspired a popular country song, the firestorm that claimed thirty-nine lives remains an unsolved mystery. In this first book on the notorious catastrophe, Lin Waterhou ...more
Paperback, 158 pages
Published December 3rd 2010 by History Press (SC) (first published November 1st 2010)
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Melissa
Mar 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: places-missouri
A terrific yet heartwrenching read about such a horrible tragedy. This book was well researched and the victims and survivors brought back to life. The only thing I disliked was the author putting her sources for the information in each chapter at the end of each chapter. It's helpful and shows where she got her information from but it disrupts the flow of the story.
The author also discusses the consequences of the explosion and mentions the five stages of grief. She says if the cycle is not co
...more
Crissy
Sep 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history

In April 1928, the Bond Dance Hall in West Plains, Missouri exploded during a normal Friday night dance, killing thirty-nine people, mostly prominent and promising young adults and town leaders.

Waterhouse's book is a well-researched journalistic account of the people, the town and the long-lasting effects of the tragedy, one of the first attempted. She gathers, presents and, in some cases, analyzes newspaper accounts, interviews, incomplete police and investigative reports, conflicting coroners'

...more
Carrie Bivens
Apr 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Very accurate documentation of the actual events that happened in my hometown in 1928. To this day, it is not talked about.
Josh
Dec 02, 2018 rated it liked it
The prose is sporadic and jerky, but raw content can do marvelous things to a Goodreads rating . . .

Being from West Plains, the "Dance Hall Explosion" has always been a lingering piece of lore for me. I've been to the mass grave numerous times. My father owned a building on the square for many years, and I know the area well. So I've collected bits and pieces of what happened here and there, but it's nice to see it here all in one place, as awkwardly written as it is.

(It sort of feels like every
...more
Becca Zurbrick
Nov 28, 2018 rated it liked it
An interesting event, but oddly written book. A lot of it just seems padded out—unnecessary historical digressions read like someone’s trying to meet their word count. A lot of the stories get told chapter after chapter too, im guessing because there just isn’t that much source material to draw from. I sometimes had a hard time keeping track of who was who and what their story and connection was.

The citation style is also weird.

Anywho, some super cool antidotes make it worth the unorthodox pre
...more
Jeanie Loiacono
Feb 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
http://www.amazon.com/West-Plains-Dan...

The 1928 explosion that transformed a West Plains dance hall into a raging inferno sparked feverish national media attention and decades of bitterness in the Missouri town it tore apart. And while the story inspired a popular country song, the firestorm that claimed thirty-nine lives remains an unsolved mystery. In this first book on the notorious catastrophe, Lin Waterhouse presents a clear account of the event and its aftermath that judiciously weighs co
...more
Jokay
Jan 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Accurate account of an actual disater in West Plains, Missouri. Well researched and photographed. Victims of the explosion came alive in this account.
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Stories about catastrophes 1 1 Aug 11, 2015 08:42AM  
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Lin Waterhouse is a freelance journalist and fiction author who searches out the historical curiosities of the Missouri Ozarks region and explores the unique culture of the beautiful hills and "hollers" of the area. In addition to her books, she writes for local and regional magazines and newspapers.