Keene, NH Tavern Fire, May 1822

Keene, (N. H.) June 1. FIRE.--- The inhabitants of this village were alarmed on Monday night, about 11 o'clock by the flames bursting through the roof of the large three story Stage-Tavern-House, owned by E. Parker, Esq. and Mr. Timothy Hall, and occupied by Mr. George Sparhawk. Before a sufficient number of the citizens could be collected to work the principle engine, all expectation of saving the building thus enveloped, was lost, and every effort was directed to stop its further progress, and rescue from the flames as much of the furniture and other property in the house, as possible. As the fire broke out in the upper story or garret in the S. W. corner of the house, the store of Mr. L. Weelock, situated only 20 feet south, was at first most imminently endangered. Providentially, the air was very still, and before the heat became excessive, that exposed, was covered with blankets, and kept perfectly soaked with the engine. By this time the air was in motion, and the flames had extended to the North in the direction of the wind; and the store of Messrs. Lamson & Blake, (in which the Post-Office was kept) with that of Col. J. Perry, adjoining, it was feared must fall a sacrifice.----The small but very efficient factory engine now arrived, which was sufficient to guard effectually the store at the South, while every means was used to keep that on the north from taking fire. The water having failed in the cistern on the common, a line was promptly formed to a brook about 1-4th of a mile to the east. By this time the air was filed [sic] with burning cinders, which took a direction over the Meeting house, the roof of which was soon discovered to be blazing near the ridge pole. The was speedily extinguished, by the engine on the outside & by water thrown from the upper flooring in the inside. The engine then repaired to the defence [sic] of the store, and the great and extraordinary efforts of the people, were at length crowned with success. The stores on either side present the appearance of a close seige [sic]---that on the north 50 feet from the burning house, having caught several times, and was readily extinguished. Every thing that could be done was promptly put in execution; and it is a pleasing reflection, that the citizens yielded a ready obedience to the suggestions of the fire wards in all cases. The importance of fire engines, and the good effects of regulations emanating from lawful authority, were fully tested. A subscription it now rapidly filling, to purchase another and more efficient engine.

American Mercury, Hartford, CT 10 Jun 1822

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On Monday night last, the Stage-Tavern-House at Keene, owned by E. Parker, Esq. and Mr. I. Hall, and occupied by Mr. George Sparhawk, was destroyed by fire, together with a considerable portion of the furniture. The house was insured to its full value.

The Salem Gazette, Salem, MA 4 Jun 1822

Continued