Wardsboro, VT Fire, May 1882



On Tuesday morning this village had the worst fire that ever occurred here, which destroyed two stores, three houses and two barns. The fire originated in Harry R. Stone's store. About four o'clock, as he lit a lamp for the purpose of packing some eggs to ship by express, he turned the chandelier, in which there were two other large lamps, and the whole fell to the floor. The blazing kerosene ran into some straw, and in an instant the room was so filled with smoke and flames that little could be done to stop the fire. Mr. Stone's family barely escaped from the burning building. All their clothing, furniture, and $125 in cash was burned. Mr. Gale's store went next. A part of his heavy stock of goods was saved. The next house was that occupied by C. C. Gale; a part of the furniture was saved. H. F. Brigham's house, occupied by three families, was next destroyed; most of the furniture saved. Mrs. Orcutt's house followed, part of the furniture being saved. Several other families moved out their furniture, expecting their houses would be swept away. One end of Mrs. Gleason's house was badly burned, and Mrs. Watson's hotel was on fire nearly an hour before it could be put out. Had the hotel burned, at least two more houses and several barns must have gone. N. B. Gale's loss is probably $6,000. He was not insured; all the other parties had sufficient insurance to partly pay for the property destroyed. Our facilities for fighting fire are as good as in most small villages. We had a hook-and-ladder company, which was promptly on the spot and worked desperately to stop the fire. H. R. Stone and H. F. Brigham will probably rebuild immediately.

Vermont Phoenix, Brattleboro, VT 2 Jun 1882