Madison, WI Tonyawatha Hotel fire, Jul 1895

Hotel Burned.

Madison, Wis., July 31. - The summer hotel of Tonyawatha was utterly destroyed by fire tonight. It was owned by E. A. Sprague. Loss on building $20,000; well insured. Loss on furniture $3,000.

The Grand Forks Herald, Grand Forks, ND 1 Aug 1895

The Tonyawatha, Near Madison, Destroyed Last Night.

Madison, Wis., July 31. - Special Telegram. - Tonyawatha Springs Hotel, the large summer resort across Lake Monona, a mile east of the city, burned to the ground this evening. The building was entirely a frame affair, and so quickly did the flames spread that it was with difficulty a little of the furniture was saved, not more than $200 worth, besides a piano and office safe. Several of the guests lost all their clothing except what they wore. Two children of Mrs. Archer, of Neillsville, Wis., who were in an upper room asleep, were barely rescued before the flames reached them. There were no casualties. The total loss on building and contents is about $30,000, insurance $15,000.

The origin of the fire is unknown. It was first seen in the family rooms above the office. There were about fifty guests in the house, most of them scattered about the grounds or sitting on the porch. The fire started about 8 o'clock. As soon as it was discovered every guest rushed for his or her room to save what they could. Only a few men were about. Two ladies seized the large piano and pushed it, unaided, out of the house and down to the lake shore. The hotel was four miles from the city by road, and it was useless to summon help from here, as the building burned like tinder and was in ashes before an engine could have arrived.

There were pipes through all the rooms through which water could be forced to give fire protection, but there was not chance to use them. With a [illegible] of water 100 feet from the building, the spectators were helpless.

The building was owned by W. D. Eaton & Co., of Boston, represented by E. H. Sprague, of Boston, who is also a part owner. He, with his wife, was stopping at the hotel. They bought it about two years ago from the Madison Land and Improvement Company, which had owned it two years. The hotel was built about eighteen years ago by Dr. W. H. Jacobs, of this city, at a cost of about $40,000. It was a large building, whith rooms for about 200 guests, and was the only summer hotel on the Madison lakes.

Mr. Sprague is uncertain as to whether it will be rebuilt. It was leased June 1 for five years by Mr. Isaacson, but the hotel furniture was owned by the company, and his loss is only on household property.

The Inter-Ocean, Chicago, IL 1 Aug 1895