Charlottesville, VA University of Virginia Fire, Oct 1895

University of Virginia Rotunda The Fire at the Rotunda



Charlottesville, Va., Oct. 28. -- The University of Virginia suffered great loss from a fire which occurred yesterday morning. The local fire department was unable to cope with the flames and assistance was obtained from Staunton and Lynchburg, which, however, arrived too late to save the public hall and the rotunda. The fire started in the former building, and a large quantity of dynamite was used on the portico between the rotunda and the public hall, but beyond displacing the large pillars, nothing was accomplished.
Attention was then given to the buildings known as "Old Chapel" and reading room. These were blown up and the debris saturated with water, and the fire thereby was confined to the hall and rotunda. The library containing about $15,000 worth of books, statues, paintings, etc., was in the rotunda. An effort to save these resulted in getting out Jefferson's statue and possibly three-fourths of the books. Everything else was burned. At 2 o'clock the fire was gotten under control. The total loss is estimated at not less than $300,000, with an insurance of $25,000 on the building and contents. The origin of the fire is unknown.

Steubenville Daily Herald Ohio 1895-10-28