Downieville, CA Fire, Jan 1858


We are indebted to the Marysville Express for the following particulars of the fire at Downieville:

At 6 o’clock P. M., New Year’s Day, the fire broke out in the St. Charles Hotel, and in an hour and a half Main street as far up as the upper Plaza, together with Bridge street, Commercial street, as far as the Methodist Church, was a blackened pile of ruins. The Court House and dwelling houses on Durgan Flat were saved, also the upper part of Main street. The new Congregational Church and Fraternity Hall are destroyed; the Sierra Citizen office and Sierra Democrat office, also destroyed. The Methodist Church was saved by tearing down two other buildings; the Catholic Church was on fire several times but was saved with difficulty; also the dwelling of Mr. LANGTON, which was within one hundred yards of one hundred kegs of powder belonging to EASTMAN & Co., which exploded.

The explosion was heard 15 miles distant, and the air was filled with fragments and timber, yet, strange to say, no very serious accident occurred.

A. S. HAXTER had his arm broken, and several other had lesser injuries from the same cause.

The New York Times, New York, NY 28 Jan 1858