Vineyard Haven, MA Fire, Aug 1883


Almost Entirely Destroyed by Fire---Appeal for Aid.

[By Telegraph]

BOSTON, August 12---A fire broke out about 10 o'clock this morning in Vineyard Haven, an island off Martha's Vineyard. It started in the Baptist church from some unknown cause, and, as a strong breeze was blowing, consumed nearly all of the ward. It spread with remarkable rapidity. A patrol was organized to protect the goods of which the streets and vacant lots are full. Numerous thieves from vessels in the harbor are on shore, and boldly attempted to carry away goods. Several arrests have been made of persons caught making off with clothing, etc.

The territory burned over embraces about fifty acres. The loss cannot be accurately estimated. It is thought that probably it will fall little short of $300,000. It strikes almost a death blow to this ancient village. It leaves hundreds of people homeless, many of whom are thrown upon the charity of their neighbors. There have been no accidents nor loss of life, although the fire spread quickly and covered a thickly settled territory. The town is at present full of summer boarders from Washington and elsewhere, and probably two thousand of them are turned out of doors. At 2:30 a.m. the fire was under control.

VINEYARD HAVEN, Mass., August 12.---A public meeting was held at Cottage City to-day, at which a committee of twenty-one prominent citizens and visitors was appointed. This afternoon the committee issued the following appeal:

"An appalling calamity has befallen the village of Vineyard Haven. A conflagration last night swept away the entire business portion of the place excepting one store, and destroyed over thirty dwellings, thus throwing out of occupation and home hundreds of persons, who have lost everything. Many of these homeless ones are widows and orphans, and all are in need of immediate assistance. Contributions of food, clothing or money, addressed to Captain James L. Smith, treasurer, Vineyard Haven, Mass., will be thankfully received by the relief committee. [signed] WM. H. ARMOUX, Lr. WM. H. ARMOUX, Chairman.

We, selectmen of the town of Tisbury, in which the village of Vineyard Haven is situated, indorse the above appeal.


The Telegraph and Messenger, Macon, GA 14 Aug 1883