Geneva, NY Hobart College Fire, Nov 1885

Geneva NY Hobart College Halls 1900.jpg Geneva NY Hobart College Buildings 1905.jpg



Syracuse, N. Y., Nov. 19. -- At 5 o'clock this morning flames were discovered issuing from the upper story of the old library building at Hobart College, Geneva. The building is between the two dormitories, and there was a wild scene as the students and Professors, almost panic stricken, rushed from their rooms. The college bell was on the roof of the library, and a student had to run to the engine houses, a mile away, to give the alarm. The flames spread rapidly, and when the fire companies arrived the two upper stories were burning fiercely, and it was feared that all the college buildings would be destroyed. The students, led by President POTTER, rushed into the building and saved many valuable books and papers, but in the upper rooms thousands of old and valuable books that cannot be duplicated were burned. A marble bust of DR. HALL, formerly President of the college, was also destroyed. Many of the college papers were removed from the library a few days ago. The total loss is $25,000. There is a partial insurance. The building, which was almost entirely ruined, was the oldest in the group. It was built in 1836 and was used for a medical college until 1841. From that time until 1880 it was used for recitation purposes, and was then transformed into a library. The loss of the books and papers is a serious blow to the college. A new fireproof stone building, that is to be used as a library, is about completed. It is supposed the fire caught from a kerosene lamp.

The New York Times New York 1885-11-20