The gas well explosion this week in Smith County reminds us of the dangers of any industrial process. A gas explosion more than 110 years ago gives some insight as to why I haven’t been able to find much information on the Holly Springs gas holder. The stories have many similarities indicating that while technology may change the same dangers remain.
Gas Reservoir Explodes.
The monster reservoir, or holder, at the Holly Springs gasworks blew up last week with a terrible explosion that brought the people out of doors in great alarm. Fortunately no one was hurt. A workman was making some repairs on a pipe connecting with the holder, and in melting some solders in the pipe ignited the gas. The holder was blown clear out of the pit, and the burning tar and oil belched forth tremendous volumes of flame and smoke. The town is plunged in darkness and it will be some time before the damage can be repaired.
The Macon Beacon, Sunday April 2, 1898
I am unaware if the gas plant was ever rebuilt. By the end of 1898 Holly Springs had an electrical power plant providing the town with light.