Back to Home

Monday, November 17, 2008

March 30, 1813
Wilksbarre, March 12
Destructive Fire!
On the night of Wednesday the 10th of last month between 10 & 11 o'clock, the Printing Office of the Gleaner, together with the greater part of the materials, were consumed by fire. It had made such progress before discovered, that all attempts at saving the building proved ineffectual - nor would but few of the printing materials be rescued from destruction. In consequence of which the publication of the Gleaner must be suspended for a time. Mr. Miner's loss is very heavy, but a generous public will not be backward in affording aid to an industrious man, by making him some remuneration. (Broome County Patriot- Newspaper Article)

March 9, 1830
The tavern kept by Mr. Archippus Parish, in Wilkesbarre, was destroyed by fire on Friday, February 26th. To the exertions of the ladies is described, in a great degree, the saving of other buildings from destruction. This is mentioned as the first dwelling destroyed by fire in that borough since the Wyoming massacre. (Baltimore Gazette and Daily Advertiser - Newspaper Article)

December 28, 1843
Destructive Fire
The town of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., was visited with a destructive fire on the afternoon of the 23rd. From a letter in the U. S. Gazette, we learned that it commenced at the shoemaker shop of Mr. Russell, which, together with its contents, was entirely destroyed; also the office of L. D. Shoemaker, under the same roof, library saved; also Mrs. Long's fancy dry good store, under the same roof, with most of its contents; loss of said buildings and contents perhaps $2000. The building was owned by Isaac Wood.

The fire was communicated to the house owned by Mrs. Drake, on Main street, and occupied by Mr. Legget, which, most of the contents were destroyed; loss about $2000. It was then arrested from going any farther down Main street, but burned with great rapidity along the public square, taking in its course the law office of James A. Gordon, and the tin shop of Samuel How, under one roof, both of which, with the contents, were destroyed; loss $1000. The Hard Times store of Johnson & Lathorp was consumed and part of the goods, loss perhaps $2000 to $4000, insured $1000.

The dwelling house of Caleb Atherton, late Sheriff, was, with most of the furniture, destroyed; loss from $1000 to $2000. The store of Martin Long, with part of its contents, and dwelling, with all his furniture and clothing, were destroyed; loss from $3000 to $5000. The law office of John J. Slocum, were consumed, but the books and papers were saved; loss from $500 to $1000. The fire was then arrested by Mr. Joseph Slocum's brick house. Mr. Slocum lost its corn house, and an office back of Jonathan's, which was occupied by himself, in the amount of $500. (Sun - Newspaper Article)

July 29, 1848
Fire in Wilkesbarre, Pa
From the Wilkesbarre papers it appears that this flourishing village has been visited by a series of incendiary fires.
On Saturday week, (July 15th) the stables of the White Swan Hotel were discovered to be on fire. Five stables, with outbuildings and sheds, were burned to the ground, with their contents, harness, carriages, wagons, ten horses, a cow and several swine. Several persons, besides the proprietor of the hotel, met with severe losses, and were not insured..

The next night the Black Horse Tavern stables were also discovered to be on fire. The loss in buildings and their contents is estimated at more than $5000. The principal sufferers were S. H. Puterbaugh, E. L. Boyd, Mrs. Overton, Mrs. Scott, Judge Kidder, John Frederick, Samuel Spence, James C. Helme, John G.Fell, and a stranger with goods and horses stopping by Peterbaugh's. The county jail was slightly injured. The buildings destroyed were principally barns and stables, and the large frame tavern house occupied by Mr. Bacon. Nine persons have been arrested who were suspected of having been the incendiaries.
(New York Herald - Newspaper Article)

May 28, 1855
Destructive Fire at Wilkesbarre
A destructive fire occurred here this morning, consuming the stores of Messrs. Morgan, Frderick & Wilson, W. Loomis, and J. Lewis, the law office of G. B. Nicholson, the Bedford Hotel, and the dwellings of Lord Butler, Dr. Boyd, and others. The losses are mostly insured, except in the case of Dr. Boyd. (The New York Times - Newspaper Article)

May 28, 1855
Henry Colt Wilson, son of Seth Wilson and Rebecca Yarrington, in company with John C. Frederick, was engaged in the hardware and stove business at the time of the big fire which swept away the entire east side of the Public Square, about 1854, their store being the old Butler steam mill building on the same grounds now occupied by Lewis Brown's grocery store. The large and valuable stock was a total loss, but the firm with commendable energy at once erected the present three story brick building and resumed business at the old stand. A few years later he sold out his store business and other property at the corner of Franklin and Jackson streets, now the homestead of the venerable Mrs. Hannah Abbott, and removed his family to a farm near Mt. Vernon, Ohio. (From The Historical Record Vol IV, No. 3)

June 1, 1859
WilkesBarre, May 31st

A fire occurred here today, which destroyed fourteen buildings. It is supposed that the fire was the work of an incendiary. Loss $80,000. (Sun - Newspaper Article)

June 2, 1859 - Sun
The Fire at Wilkesbarre, Pa

The sufferers by this fire, mentioned yeaterday, were as follows: Robert Wilson, loss $5000, insured; J. B. Wood, loss $1500; Isaac S. Osterhaut, loss $1000, insured; W. S. Wells, loss $1500, insured; Dr. Strothers, loss $600, insurance, and Mrs. Mayer, Mr. Elaner, J. Sparks, Mrs. Hyman, Mrs. Buckley and a few others, for small amounts. (Sun - Newspaper Article)

June 9, 1859
Fourteen buildings were burnt at Wilkesbarre, Pa.

Fourteen buildings were burnt at Wilkesbarre, Pa., on Tuesday morning, involving a loss of $80,000. The principle suffers are Robert Wilson, J. B. Wood, Isaac S. Osterhaut, De. Streathers, Mr. Mayer, J. Everett, Mr. Eisners, J. Sparks, William Hyman, Reese &Bro., Mrs. Buckley, W. S. Wells, Dickerline & others. (Sun - Newspaper Article)

April 10, 1867
Wilkesbarre, April 9
Great Fire in Wilkesbarre

A fire broke out here today, directly opposite the telegraph office, and spread to all the neighboring buildings on both sides of the street. The"Record of theTimes" office and about twenty other buildings were destroyed. TheWyoming Bank, being fire proof stands alone on that corner. The loss is estimated at $80,000 to $150,000 with an insurance of about $50,000. The office of the Western Union Telegraph Company was destroyed, but in a short time another office was opened and telegraphic communication resumed. (Public Ledger - Newspaper Article)

May 4, 1871
Fire At Wilkes-Barre

Wilkes-Barre, Penn., May 3 - An alarming fire occurred here last night, at one time threatening the well-known Valley House. It began about 10:45, in a stable in the rear of the hotel. The fire destroyed a dozen or so stables and outbuildings. Several times the hotel roof and offices were on fire, but by great exertion the conflagration was prevented from spreading. (Cincinnati Daily Enquirer - News Article)

January 3, 1874
Burning of Frauenthal's Opera House at Wilkesbarre
WilkesBarre, Jan 2 - Frauenthal's opera House , on Main street , was entirely consumed by fire last evening, caused by the explosion of a lamp in Lynn's restaurant, on the lower floor. Mr. Frauenthal's loss is $60,000 with an insurance of $10,000. Landfield & Sons' loss is $20,000, covered by insurance.

The first floor was occupied by Frauenthal as a boot and shoe store, and by Mrs. Langfield's dry goods and millinery store. The other portion of the building was fitted up as an opera house, and a large audience was present to witness the performances of a variety troupe when the alarm was sounded.

The smoke rose so thick and fast that some persons were nearly suffocated before they could get out. (Philadelphia Inquirer - News Article)

May 31, 1882
Wilkes-Barre, PA., May 30 - The Wyoming Valley Hotel, the largest in this section of the state, was burned today. The local fire apparatus was insufficient to cope with the flames, and the Scranton and Pittston fire departments sent aid. By their help the flames were kept from spreading to other buildings. (Philadelphia Inquirer - News Article)

May 31, 1882
Fire at Wilkes-Barre
Wilkes-Barre, PA., May 30 - The Wyoming Valley Hotel, the largest in this section of the state, is burning, and cannot be saved. The buildings and contents cost half a million dollars. The loss to the building is estimated at $100, 000, insured about $90, 000. (Wheeling Register - News Article)

The fire at the Wyoming Valley Hotel has gained such headway that the adjoining property is in danger. The Scranton and Pittston fire departments have been called on. The wind is high, and the most valuable portion of the city is in danger.

The Scranton and Pittston fire departments have arrived. The fire at the hotel is under control. Loss to the building is estimated at $100, 000; insured about $90, 000.

August 3, 1898
Will you please inform me what day and year the Frauenthal Opera House was burned?Liberty Hall was the name of the opera house before it was leased by Samuel Frauenthal, who gave it his name and converted it into a variey theatre. It occupied the sites now occupied by the building of the Levy brothers at No. 23 and the Grand Union Tea Company, at No. 25 South Main street. The place was destroyed by fire on Thursday January 1, 1874. The opera house was an especially fine one, but lost its title as a first-class house on the completion of Music Hall in 1870. During its career and before it became the second-class house. Some of the most noted stars in the country of that period appearwed there. Anna Dickenson, who was then at the height of her fame as a lecturer also appeared there several times. One of her most famous and best lectures, entitled Whited Sepulchres, was delivered there. It was in that house that Buffalo Bill and Texas Jack made their first appearance in Wilkes-Barre. They were brought by Co. E Z C Judson, whose pen name was Ned Buntline. Their drama was of the most approved blood and thunder order and a majority of the youngsters who saw it made up their minds to go West and kill off Indians. There are many people in this city who have a pleasant recollection of the old amusement place. (Wilkes-Barre Times - News Article)