Hartford, CT High School Fire, Jan 1882



HARTFORD, Conn., Jan. 24.---The public High School was destroyed by fire early this morning, the walls only being left standing. The fire started, it is supposed, from a stove in the basement, which was used to heat a large ventilating shaft running straight up to the roof. The firemen, when called out, had only just left duty at a large fire at the steam-boat wharf, and, as the night was terribly cold, the department labored under many disadvantages. From the start there was no hope of saving any part of the building, as the flames shot rapidly through it. The building was erected in 1870 at a cost of $140,000, and subsequently an addition was put on at an expense of $24,000, including many valuable fixtures. The loss is fully $200,000. There is an insurance of $70,000, divided as follows: Aetna, $15,000: Hartford, Phoenix, Connecticut, and National, of Hartford, $10,000 each; Orient, of Hartford, $5,000; Bowery and Security, of New-York, $5,000 each. The loss is very severely felt in this city, for the building was considered one of the most substantial of its kind in the country, and its equipment was complete. The scientific and philosophical apparatus includes the best collection in the State: almost every machine and instrument which could be used in the illustration of a course of philosophical study was in the collection, and all of those were totally destroyed. A carefully selected library of 3,000 volumes was consumed; it could not be replaced for $10,000. Among the things destroyed were a fine oil portrait of the late Prof. Capron, Principal of the school at the time of his death, which cost over $300; all the class banners and mottoes, which were hung for ornament in the large hall; a fine telescope in the clock tower, which cost $800, and all the classbooks in which the daily record of scholars was kept together with the examination papers and marks of the past examination. There were over 500 scholars in the school, 74 being members of the Senior Class, who will be graduated in April. There will be difficulty in finding temporary accommodations for the school sufficient for all needed purposes under one roof, but this matter is receiving the close attention of the authorities.

The New York Times, New York, NY 25 Jan 1885