Eastport, ME Fire, Oct 1886



EASTPORT, Me., Oct. 16.---Eastport is dreary looking place to-night. The view across the bay is not obstructed by a single building on Water-street from Key-street to Adams-street and the entire length of Sea-street. It is as yet impossible to give the separate losses and insurance. Several insurance agents from Portland and Boston are here making estimates, but they can give no figures yet. Gen. Leavitt, the largest local insurance agent, estimates the total loss to be over $800,000, but he can give nothing definite about the amount of insurance.

The several safes were opened to-day with a better result than was expected. The report that the insurance books and reports were destroyed was a mistake. All the savings banks, the Frontier Bank, and Post Office books, were found to be safe or nearly so, as was the insurance papers. The most serious part of the calamity is that a great number of families are homeless and destitute and out of employment. One hundred families, without homes, many of whom formerly were quite comfortable, are now living with friends. The suffering will increase as the weather gets colder. A relief committee has been organized and some aid has been received, but only sufficient to relieve temporary distress. The Mayor of Bangor sends $2,000; the Mayor of Calais $500; Frank Peavy, of Sioux City, $250; American National Bank, $100; E. T. Russell & Co., of Boston, $100; E. S. Buxton, E. H. Buckman, and Fulton Peavy, of Sioux City, $100. The sardine factories will be rebuilt, but not this Fall. They could not be built in time for the season's packing, which ends, by law, Dec. 15.

Thieves have been busy day and night since the fire, and some have reaped rich harvests. They went in gangs from store to store while the fire raged, broke open doors, carried out goods, and destroyed what they could not carry away. At night they went with teams to the fields where goods had been left for safety and plundered the unfortunate people. They were like tigers that had got a taste of blood, and the worst among them were those from the neighboring Canadian islands, who came in boats and loitered about like vultures over dead carcasses. Capt. Dean, of the revenue cutter Woodbury, to-day ordered these Canadian thieves to leave the harbor and not return except for legitimate purposes. To-night none are to be seen.

The New York Times, New York, NY 17 Oct 1886