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The Great Explosion. On the morning of July 16, 1954, Kent Manufacturing, a locally owned and operated fireworks and munitions plant in Chestertown, was destroyed by a series of explosions. 11 people died, and the plant was permanently closed. In 2009, the Historical Society of Kent County hosted an evening to collect the recollections of Kent County residents about that fateful day. This oral history offers the poignant first-hand accounts of that day. $10.00, plus $3.00 bookrate shipping.