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Cleveland Historical Society (Oswego County, New York)
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Whitman P. Fosdick

Male Abt 1840 -


 

18800117 - Cleveland's Ablaze!

Cleveland Lakeside Press
01/17/1880, p.2

Two Fires in One Week

January 1, 1880

Ed. Lakeside Pres.


Travis's Market Building, on the West Side, and the Farmer Block at the East end, Totally Distroyed Two Meat Markets, Long's Store, and Wilder's Law Office Wiped Out! --- Loss $7,000

At 20 minute of 3 o'clock Sunday morning [January 11, 1880], fire broke out in Travis's meat market.  It was discovered by Mrs. Yates, who gave the alarm, and soon the various bells awakened many from slumbers.  Several were quickly on hand, and the meat was removed to a place of safety, but none of the contents of the back apartments were got out.  The building burned quickly, and for a time, it was very hot in the immediate vicinity, so that much effort had to be made to save the adjoining building.  The wind, what little there was, fortunately happened to be nearly calm, otherwise there would have been slim chance of inverting an extensive conflagration.  The fire originated, as near as can be learned, back in the northwest corner of the building, and there is every reason to believe that it was the work of an incendiary.  The loss is about $400; no insurance.

Again, on Tuesday morning, at 15 minutes after 2 o'clock - an hour when people sleep the soundest - the cry of "Fire!"
  startled us, and we woke to discover the large Farmer block in flames.

Fire was first discovered by Mrs. Alger, who being sick, slept lightly, and seeing the light reflected upon Knights' saloon, awakened her household.  Young Kelly rushed out, and Wm. Foster, Jr., and Ned Sherman putting in an appearance, they gave a further alarm, and at once proceeded to see what could be done.  They found that the fire had started near the cellar-wy in Long's store, and that the smoke had already filled the building.  A strong smell of kerosene pervaded everything, and it appeared as if the floor was saturated with the oil, as the flames ran along the whole length of the store floor in almost a moment.  No attempt was made to save anything in Long's place.

By this time a large number had arrived, and Fosdick's market was broken open to try and save his large stock.  It was finally all got out, but some of it, especially the beef, in a damaged condition.

Meanwhile, the atmosphere was getting exceedingly hot, although the light wind was in a northwesterly direction, and the large Audas building on the corner was in great danger.  The large ladder was placed against it, and several workers desperately engaged in throwing pals of water on the side and roof.  The heat became almost unbearable but they nobly kept at it, and were finally successful in saving the building although it received a good scorching.  Too much praise can scarcely be awarded to those who travel, labored and saved the Amos building ...The wind, such as we are apt to expect here at this season, was not present on this occasion, otherwise the greater portion of the village must have been in ashes.

It was feared at one time that Duncan & Whitney's building, just north, would take fire, and the jewelry and photographic wares were packed up; but the fire hooks were used to good advantage in pushing over the burning timbers, thus relieving the danger.

The burned building was a very large one, and probably the best put together of any in the town.  It was 95 feet long and 28 feet wide, besides a wing, and was erected 28 years ago by Chas. Kathern for Forris Farmer, who died at 9 years ago.  For many years an immense business, amounting to $75,000 a year, was carried on there by Mr. Farmer.  Of later years, the main store was occupied by Dr. Whyborn afterward by Hale, and at the time of the fire, by Chas. Long, who had a large stock of general merchandise.  The Press office occupied for six years the wing portion, but five weeks ago moved further down Lake Street.  The upper part of the building was occupied by lawyer Wilder, who has sustained a severe loss in the destruction of his large and complete library, beside his 10 years' law record, and many valuable papers.  The north end, as stated, was occupied by Fosdick as a market.

Long's loss is placed at $2,500; insured for $2,000.  Wilder places his loss at $1,150; insured for $400.  Fosdick puts his loss at $413; insured for $400.  The building is fully insured for $3,000.

Long claims that his store was plundered and then fired to cover up the robbery.  it is the general opinion that the fire was the work of an incendiary, and the matter ought to be fully investigated.

--- Long's loss was adjusted yesterday [January, 17, 1880] to $1,445.64; and Wilder's at $490.
--- Fosdick has opened a market in App's building.
--- Geo. Travis has opened a market in the old building formerly used as such, adjoining the one burned.
--- Attorney Wilder has bought new furniture and opened an office over the Globe Hotel, the propriator having generously give free use of the room.




Owner/SourceCleveland Historical Society
Date17 Jan 1880
Linked toWashington Market, Lake and Church, Cleveland, Oswego, New York; Shuler & Knights, Cleveland, Oswego, New York; Forris Farmer (Occupation); John W. Fosdick (Occupation); Whitman P. Fosdick (Occupation); William Henry Foster, Jr.; Edward Sherman; George H. Travis (Occupation); Dr. David T. Whyborn (Occupation); Daniel L. Wilder (Occupation)