Bangor, ME Fire, Apr 1911 - Destroyed at Bangor Library


Valuable Documents Destroyed in Bangor Library Fire.

Special to The New York Times.

BANGOR, May 20--Excepting, possibly, the Portland City Hall fire of January, 1908, more historic records of value were destroyed in the Bangor fire of the afternoon of Sunday, April 30, than in any previous conflagration in the annals of Maine. Documents of priceless value in establishing the story of Maine from its earliest settlement to the present time vanished in an hour. In no way can these be replaced.

These documents were stored in the public library. It was a firetrap-had been known as such for years--and when the blaze came there was no time to save anything. As it well known throughout the State, Bangor has been trying to build a new public library for nearly a dozen years. Time after time it has been supposed that work on the new structure would begin without delay. Each time there has been disappintment[sic]. Another year, however, would have seen the building well near completion.

The earliest authentic records were contained in thirteen volumes of a publication known successively as The Bangor Weekly Register, The Register and Penobscot Advertiser, and The Register, (1815 to 1828.) Other records of early history were Volume 2 of The Bangor Daily Union, (1838-39) in twenty-two volumes of The Jeffersonian, (1849-69.) and in certain files of The Bangor Daily Whig and Courier. Whether there are any duplicates of these files is problematical.

The genealogical collection in the library was recognized as one of the finest in the country, containing many subjects which could be found in few if any other libraries.

The New York Times, New York, NY 21 May 1911