Boston, MA Fire, Nov 1889


The Great Shoe Firms Were the Heavy Losers.
Another dispatch says:  The most disastrous fire from which Boston has suffered since 1872, and the one which in property loss more than rivals the great conflagration at Lynn on Tuesday, broke out at about 8:20 a. m. to-day, in the six-story granite building owned by Jordan, marsh & Co., and occupied by Brown, Durrell & Co., dealers in dry goods, on Bedford street, corner of Kingston.  The great fire of 1872 broke out at the corner of Kingston and Summer streets, and the alarm of to-day's fire was rung in from the same box which did similar duty at 7:15 p. m. on the evening of November 9, 1872, when the fire fiend broke loose and before being subdued consumed nearly $100,000,000 of property. The first alarm rung in to-day was immediately followed by the first general alarm in Boston since 1872.  To-day's conflagration raged for six hours, burned over two acres of territory covered by magnificent structures, and entailed a loss now estimated at $[illegible].

The fire was discovered by a letter carrier who noticed flames burning from the top of the Brown building.  This letter carrier notified the nearest police officer, who sounded the first alarm.  As soon as the Chief of the Protective Department arrived it became apparent that a long, hard fight with the fiery element was before the department and a general alarm was sent out, and this was soon followed by calls upon neighboring cities and towns for assistance.  The flames were soon pouring from all the windows and the roof of the Brown-Durrell building.  At 8:45 they had spread in the Shoe and Leather Exchange building [illegible] [illegible] street.  From both buildings the flames swept in great masses across Bedford street, along Bedford to Chauncey street where it was [illegible] [illegible] store of [illegible] & [last two lines are illegible]  the flames jumped across Kingston street from the hot blaze from Brown, Durrell & Co.'s big sandstone building, owned by F. L. Ames, and occupied by Taylor Bros., and this was consumed.  The great granite building known as Nevin's Block at the corner of Chauncey street, was the next victim for the flames, and the entire block clear from Rowe place to Kingston street was consumed.  Crossing Chauncey street the fire soon had a good head on all the stores which are enclosed in Exeter Place, a small street running from Harrison avenue to Chauncey Street.  Here the firemen got control. At Rowe Place the fire was partially checked from going toward Essex street, but quickly moved toward the opposite side to the immense Allen and Larrabee buildings, occupying the square between Bedford street, Harrison extension and Exeter Place, at which point their further progress was checked.

The loss falls heaviest on the boot and shoe men.  The following is the  complete list of shoe and leather firms burned out, those not otherwise designated carrying only samples:  C. E. Aldrich & Co., (Farmington, N.H.) 89 Bedford;  Apple on Shoe Co. (Marlboro), 1 Columbia;  W. F. Barret & Co., 1 Columbia;  Alpheus Bates, (East Weymouth), 1 Columbia;  W. C. Brien Shoe Co., 77 Bedford; Bunnen & Co., 1 Columbia,  jobbers; Copeland & Hartwell, Brockton, 89 Bedford; Fogg & Co., 77 Bedford; Frank S. Gage, Haverhill, 89 Bedford; J. W. Hart & Co., 89 Bedford;  L. P. Hawkins & Co., Portland, 89 Bedford; Howard & Foster, Brockton, 89 Bedford;  W. N. Keith & Co., Elman, 89 Bedford;  S. Keith & Co.,  jobbers, 77 Bedford;  Lynn Boot and Slipper Co., 1 Columbia;  H. T. Marshall, Brockton, 89 Bedford;  George H. Nichols, Haverhill, 79 Bedford;  J. A. Parker & Co., (Marlboro), 1 Columbia;  R. J. Patton, (Lynn), 1 Columbia;  Perkins & Joyce, (Brockton) 1 Columbia;  Joshua H. Putnam, (Beverly), 89 Bedford;  Rogers and Webber, (Lynn), 1 Columbia; Boyce & Goff, 60 Bedford; carried stock rubber goods and slippers;  Stillson Stevenson Shoe Manufacturing Co., 77 Bedford;  H. R. M. Tenny, (Jobber), 1 Columbia;  L. W. Tyler, 77 Bedford;  Walker & Brown, (Worcester), 89 Bedford;  Woonsocket Rubber Co., 69 Bedford;  Myron Woodbury, (Beverly), 89 Bedford;  Boot and Shoe Findings, Brockton Last Co., 81 Bedford;  Herbert & Rapp Co., 71 Bedford;  National Thread Co., 41 Kingston;  O. O. Patton & Co., (Brockton), 81 Bedford.

Blakely Burnishing machine, and Geo. H. Clark, 1 Columbia; Dunrey & Tu?gas, 79 Bedford;  Lott's Shiving Machine Co.,  Shoe Finding Machine Co.,  Wheeler & Cummings, and Woodward & Wright, 1 Columbia.  Leather houses--- R. G. Solomon, of Newark, N. J., (carried a large stock of leather in the Shoe and Leather Exchange, which was a total loss), in the same building J. S. Bamett & Bros., of Little Falls, N. Y., carried stock of calf skins, also a total loss.  Brown, Durrell & Co., carried goods in stock to the value of upwards of $800,000, and the stock will be a total loss; insured to the amount of $600,000.

There are about 200 firms burned out and 100 agents of New York and Western firms have had their headquarters destroyed.  The 79 insurance companies known to be interested carry an aggregate insurance of $2,600,000 on the burned property.

The burned district begins at Columbia street on the east and extends two blocks bounded by Bedford, Kingston and Chauncey streets and Rowe Place, and westward of this the buildings on Chauncey street from Bedford to Exeter Place.  It also badly damaged the building on the southeast corner of Bedford and Columbia streets.  North of Bedford it consumed the building on both the northeast and northwest corners of Bedford and Kingston streets and damaged the block at the corner of Bedford and Chauncey.

THE LOSS $4,000,000.
The total loss according to the latest conservative estimates will reach $4,000,000.  The street playing the most prominent part in the fire was Bedford, from the Harrison avenue extension eastward across Chauncey, Kingston and Columbia streets almost to the junction of Summer and Lincoln.  It was near the latter point that the fire started working its way west.

The Wheeling Register, Wheeling, WV 29 Nov 1889