The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), Nov. 14, 1853

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We had but time, on Saturday, to announce the destruction of a large amount of property in this city by fire on the morning of that day. We now add such particulars of the event as we have since been enabled to gather.

The fire broke out between two and three o'clock on Saturday morning, in Scobell's large wharf store, occupied by Miller & Co. It is not yet definitely known how it originated, as no fire was used in the building, and the store had been closed about 6 o'clock on the previous evening. Fanned by a strong gale of wind, the flames soon enveloped this large building, extended to Mr. Scobell's cooperage, thence on to the warehouses and wharf of the Hon. J. Hamilton, and some small buildings adjoining, thence to the large warehouse of Macpherson & Crane, and so on until their progress was, by the strenuous and well directed efforts of the fire brigade of the military (who were out in strong force, under the immediate direction of Col. Young, Col. Savage and other officers) and of a number of citizens, arrested at Queen street. Looking at the great extent of the fire at this time, and the fury of the gale, it is really surprising that the progress of the flames should have been stayed at any point short of the shore of the lower bay, and the fact that they were thus checked, marks in the strongest light the vigor with which the firemen, the military and others combatted the destroying element.

At the time of the breaking out of the fire, a considerable number of steamers, schooners, and barges, were moored alongside the wharves between Brock and Barrack streets, especially in the slips employed by Messrs. Macpherson & Crane, but a heavy sea, driven into the harbor by a S.S.W. wind rendered it impossible to move without the aid of steam, while the progress of the flames was so rapid that barely sufficient time was given for getting it up; this was done, however, on board the New Era, the Canada, and the Protection, and these steamers were at once employed in towing out the schooners and barges to anchorage, a service which was effectively performed. But one schooner, as we have already mentioned, received damage by fire, and a wood-barge was destroyed.

Although this fire was more destructive than any with which Kingston has been visited since 1840, we cannot put down the loss at a greater figure than 15,000 pounds. 9,000 pounds will probably more than cover the Insurances.

A repetition of one of the worst scenes of the fire of 1840 - a powder explosion - was spared us in this instance by the prompt action and intrepidity of a few gentlemen, who on hearing that about thirty kegs of powder were in Messrs. Macpherson & Crane's, where it was awaiting shipment, sought it out and threw it all into the river....

The Hercules - This propeller which sprung a leak a short time ago near Malden was taken into Mr. Ives' dry dock with all her cargo on board, and repaired without her owners being at the expense of unshipping her load of grain. She started on her trip to Sackett's Harbor last night. The fact of this boat being taken into dock and repaired without the loss of time and the necessarily great expense of having her cargo taken out demonstrates the utility and benefit which this work is to shipping at this point. [Detroit Advertiser Nov. 5th]

Nov. 15, 16, 1853

not published (Office moving)

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Nov. 14, 1853
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Rick Neilson
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Daily News (Kingston, ON), Nov. 14, 1853