Elberton, GA Fire, Feb 1902


Fire Does Great Amount of Damage to Property.

ELBERTON, Ga., Feb. 9. - Fire here early today destroyed nearly all of the business section of this place, doing damage which is estimated at $100,000. The city has no fire protection and the bucket brigades formed by citizens were of no avail in a temperature of twenty degrees and a high wind.
The Tate block, two livery stables, the T. M. Swift block, the new plant of the southern Bell Telephone company and a dozen or more firms were burned out.

The Nebraska State Journal, Lincoln, NE 9 Feb. 1902


Two Business Blocks Are Destroyed in Elberton's Big Blaze

LOSS IS $104,000,

Largest Fire is City's History. Chief Joyner Was Wired and Would Have Gone, but Fire Wall Checks the Flames.

The losses and insurance carried as follows:
Loss. Insur.
E. B. Tate ...... $10.000 $4,000
E. B. Tate & Son ..... 6,000 2,000
T. M. Swift ........ 10,000 .........
Tabor & Almond ...... 15,000 9,750
Joe Cohen ...... 15,000 5,000
S. O. Hawes ..... 12,000 9,000
M. E. Maxwell ..... 10,000 6,000
J. R. Mattox ..... 8,000 4,000
T. J. Hulme ..... 6,000 .........
W. H. Cooley ..... 3,000 1,000
Light infantry ..... 2,000 1,000
Stillwell & Lovern ..... 1,000 .........
R. E. Hudgins ..... 1,000 .........
M. H. Maxwell ..... 1,000 .........
T. W. Campbell ..... 1,000 .........
Ira Van Duzer ..... 1,000 .........
Z. B. Rogers ..... 500 .........
Bell Tel. Co. ..... 1,000 .........
N. G. Long ..... 1,000 .........
$104,500 $41,750

By L. W. Foreman.
Elberton, Ga., February 9. - (Special Staff Correspondence.) Fire broke out in the heart of the business section of this city at an early hour this morning and before the flames were checked over $100,000 had gone up in smoke.

Today two of the main business blocks of the city are in ruins, a lot of smoking timbers and tottering walls being all that is left.

The loss is estimated at $104,500. Of this less than half was covered by insurance, the total amount of insurance on the burned buildings and stocks amounting to only $41,750.

Hon. T. M. Swift was the heaviest loser, not being protected by insurance at all. The Tate block, which burned, was one of the handsomest buildings in Elberton, having been erected only three years ago.

The fire is by all odds the most disastrous in the history of the Granite City. The buildings burned were on McIntosh street, the principal business street of Elberton, and the particular section on which they were located is known locally as the “spoonhandle.”

Fire Starts in Cellar
The fire originated in the cellar beneath Stillwell's restaurant in the Tate block. When discovered at 4 o'clock it had gained such headway that for a time it seemed that the business section of the city was doomed. In a short time the fire has crossed McIntosh street and the Tate block and the Swift block were burned at the same time.

A vacant lot between the Tate block and the buildings near it facing on the public square prevented the fire's spreading to them. The fire wall of the Elberton Loan and Savings bank building stopped the fire from spreading to Heard street from the Swift block. Had the fire not been stopped here the remainder of the Swift block would have been destroyed, and as the buildings across Heard street from it are of wood, they would probably have caught the whole of the east and north sides of the square would have gone with them.

Continued on page 2