Seneca Falls, NY Fire, Jul 1890


The Town of Seneca Falls, N. Y., Suffers Severely.

A Disastrous Conflagration in the Business Quarter – Many Stores, Three Newspapers, the Opera House, Post Office and Other Structures Burned.

SYRACUSE, N. Y., July 30.
A special to the Herald from Seneca Falls gives the following particulars of the fire there:
The inevitable has occurred. The Pew building, against the erection of which, three or more years ago, such earnest protest was made, fulfilled its mission as a fire trap this morning and it is feared that is has also proven a death trap. A few minutes after 3 o'clock this morning the building, which was directly opposite Hoag's opera house, in Fall street, was discovered to be burning in Sutherland & Squires' restaurant. In a few minutes the entire structure was on fire. Had naught but the shell suffered there would have been trifling cause for regret, gut at 7 o'clock the fairest commercial portion of the town was in flames. The Pow building was approachable from but one side, because of a ravine at the back, and the atmosphere quickly became so hot that the firemen could not endure it. The splendid Phoenix block, involving the electric light plant, the electric railway plant, the post office, express office, the Reveille printing establishment, the Courier newspaper, Sanderson's furniture warerooms and the Western Union telegraph office succumbed to the flames, and within four hours fifteen stores east of it, to the Sheldon block, were ruined. The flames sprung across the street to Hoag's opera house before an hour had passed, and that was consumed with all of Fall street on that side east to the Sheldon block, while on the north side the Co-operative block was the limit. On State street the flames extended to and included Kellogg's livery stable, but all of his stock was saved.
The sufferers, with some approximate losses on real property are given below, there probably being a fairly average insurance:
The Phoenix block, $80,000; electric light plant, $30,000 (not wholly destroyed); Sylvester Co., $3,000; Johnson block, $16,000; Howe block, $12,000; Desky block, $10,000; Sheldon block, $7,000; Hoag's hotel damaged probably $15,000; Hoag's opera house and block $40,000; Daniels' block, $13,000; the Mirror bloc, $4,000; Crowell block, $4,500; McCartin's block, $6,500; Miller block, $2,000.
In State street the fire has already lapped up the Hudson house and blacksmith shop, George's barber shop, Farnese's store, the Norcott block, including Comber's liquor store; Hall's cigar factory, Hanna's second hand store, the Chinese laundry, Denison's shoe shop, Kellogg's livery and the two houses next thereto, in the rear, where the fire is now limited.
Among the tenants who lose heavily are the Journal office, Nuunold (spelling unsure) Brothers, Nellie Jennings, R. C. Wayne, Jacob Allen, John H. Crowell, T. R. Lawrence, Sutherland & Squires, Madden's news room, Maurer Brothers' store and barber shop, Mrs. Hadley's millinery store, Van Kleeck & Gilmore's drug store and Sand's drug store, Hill's grocery, Addison's shoe store, Garnsey & Waller's hardware store, Phillips & Hawley's hardware store, Blodgett's dry goods store, Howe's hat store, beside many tenants in the rooms above the stores. A steamer came from Waterloo soon after daylight, and about 6 o'clock a train came in with a steamer from Geneva. An extra steamer from the Silsby works was also in service, beside the two village steamers. All three newspapers are burned out and the telephone service is suspended. The Western Union telegraph company is doing business at the railroad station. The Gleason & Bailey works were on fire several times, but the flames were kept down with little injury.

Later – The fire was under control at 9 o'clock this morning, but soon broke out anew in Todman & Gladke's dry goods store, which is now burning.
The fire was confined to the territory already named. The buildings consumed embrace thirty-three stores, the livery, blacksmith shop and three houses and Hoag's hotel. Twenty-five of the buildings were of brick and from two to three stories in height and only one of them, designed for business purposes, was vacant. Three of the best equipped printing offices in the state, the Courter, Reville and Journal, lie buried in the ruins. The News and Observer at Waterloo and other offices have tendered their facilities.
But a few losses and insurance are obtainable. The loss on the opera house is about $30,000, insurance $1,000; Hoag's hotel $27,000, insurance $10,000; R. G. Wayne $4,000, insurance $2,200; Addison, loss $10,000, insurance $4,000; John H. Crowell, loss $500, insured; Farnice, insured; Jacob Allen, loss $800, no insurance; Comber had no insurance; Jacoby, the insurance man, places the loss at $500,000, with probable insurance of one-quarter the amount. The loss on buildings is estimated at about $200,000

Brooklyn Eagle New York 1890-07-30