Jewett City, CT Fire, Feb 1876


On the morning of February fourth, 1876, occurred the most disastrous fire Jewett City has ever known. It started in a large building owned by Horace Olin, which stood on the site of the present Congregational parsonage. Three floors of this building were rented, and occupied by Hutchins & Stead, as a general store. The upper floor was used as a lodge room. The fire was well under way when it was discovered, and spread with such rapidity that the adjoining buildings, the new Congregational Church, on the south, and the residence of the Hon. John R. Tracy, on the north, were both soon in flames. It was feared that the long line of buildings on Main Street would be destroyed, and aid from Norwich was suggested. To communication with the Norwich Fire Department, Clark W. Reynolds drove his fast horse the ten miles in forty-five minutes. The Norwich Fire Department at once responded and their big steamer was loaded upon a special train and dispatched with all speed to the rescue. Meanwhile the Bromley house, now the residence of Dennis Barnett, caught fire, but by the heroic efforts of the citizens, the flames were stayed before the Norwich steamer arrived.

The loss of the three buildings was estimated at about forty thousand dollars. A still night and a heavy fall of snow saved the village from a much greater loss.

Griswold - a history : being a history of the town of Griswold, Connecticut from the earliest times to the entrance of our country into the world war in 1917; New Haven, Conn., 1929, pages 251-252