Lebanon, NH Fire, May 1887



HANOVER, N. H., May 10.----The most destructive fire that Northern New Hampshire has ever known occurred in Lebanon this morning, breaking out in Mead, Mason & Co.'s furniture factory at 1 o'clock. The adjoining buildings, also occupied by Mead, Mason & Co., built of wood and filled with inflammable materials, were soon destroyed. The early failure of the water power pump, upon which great dependence was put for such emergencies, made a call for help from out of town necessary. The fire worked southerly, burning everything in that direction, including Kendrick & Davis's watch key factory, building, and storehouse, and C. M. Baxter's machine shop.

The fire in four hours had burned 80 buildings, including, besides those already mentioned, S. Cole & Sons' foundry and machine shops; Roger's woolen mill, formerly a sponge factory; B. T. Tilden's woodworking shop, occupied by Muchmore & Whipple and others; W. F. Shaw's grist mill, Free Press printing office buildings, livery stable and marble shop, Baldwin's block, Pulsifer's block, Marston's saw mill, the old Lafayette Hotel building, C. D. Scott's livery stable, the Mascomo House, 25 dwellings, and the remainder storehouses, barns, and shops.

The burned district covers nearly 10 acres on both sides of the Mascoma River, and on both sides of Mechanic, Mascomo, High Mill, and Hanover streets. Every manufacturing establishment in the village, except Kendrick's brick woolen mill, is destroyed. The fire companies from Enfield and Hanover reached there about 3 o'clock and assisted in checking the fire at Whipple's brick block, on Hanover-street. A special train from Concord, with a steamer under charge of Chief Engineer Newhall, arrived at 6:30 A. M. and relieved the exhausted local firemen. ... Six hundred men are thrown out of employment and 60 families are homeless.

Within the last two months the town has contracted for a system of water works to cost $40,000, but this precaution had been taken too late. Among the principal sufferers, are, Kendrick & Davis, key factory; C. M. Baxter, machine shop; Carter & Rogers, woolen mill; S. Cole & Son, foundry; the Mascomo Hotel, owned by S. B. Jones; two storehouses, owned by S. Cole & Son; the woodworking shop of B. B. Tilden, occupied by three firms, who lost all their material; W. F. Shaw, grain mill; Albert Ricks, machine shop; Freeman & Richardson, job printing office; C. B. Scott, livery stable and house; Shaw & Wright, large storehouse filled with grain; Peter Demay, two dwelling houses and a restaurant; livery stable of S. Houghton, occupied by H. S. Billings; the precinct engine house; McPhee's harness factory; Anthony Roche, shoe shop; Mr. McPhee, large tenement house, occupied by a number of families, all of whom lost their property; the two-story block of C. E. Pulsifer, and T. B. Marston, lumber mill.

The New York Times, New York, NY 11 May 1887