Keene, NH Fire, Aug 1867

The losses so far as can be ascertained from a rough estimate are as follows:---Nims & Crossfield, doors, sash and blinds, loss $25,000---insured for $10,000. Poole & Sherman, job turners, loss $2200---no insurance. Sprague & Baker, cabinet makers, loss $2500---no insurance. Calvin Bryant, sieve hoops, loss $1500---no insurance. Edwards & Cook, carriage makers, loss $2000---no insurance. Wilcox & Russell, carriage makers, loss &1000---insured for $400. H. P. Muchmore, house joiner, loss &3000---no insurance. H. M. Breed, blacksmith, loss $500---no insurance. Geo. F. A. Brown, painter, loss $25---fully insured. S. B. Crossfield & Co., house joiner, loss$150---no insurance. C. W. & A. A. Woodward, doors, loss $225---no insurance. Arba Kidder, dwelling house, loss $1800---insured for $1050. John F. Prindell, dwelling house, loss $1500---no insurance. Geo. D. Dort, dwelling house, $1000---fully insured. Charles Bridgman, barn and shed, loss $600---fully insured. W. S. Briggs, loss $200---fully insured. County jail out buildings, loss $200---no insurance. Isaac Aldrich, private furniture, loss $100---no insurance. F. L. Sprague, injury to dwelling house, loss $500---fully insured. N. F. Clark, private furniture, loss $100---no insurance. John Draper, furniture, loss $200---fully insured. Total loss $44,300. Insurance $13,975.

There are a large number of small losses which are not included in the above estimates and it is thought that all the losses are put at a low figure. The number of buildings destroyed was seventeen or eighteen. The number of men thrown out of employment is about 100.

We shall hope to see these shops speedily rebuilt, but at the same time we think we only express the universal thought of the community when we say that to us it seems extremely desirable that when new buildings are erected some other location than that on Mechanic street should be sought for them, or if they must be placed upon the old site, that they should be built of some material less combustible and more enduring that wood. It manifestly is not right that so much property should be needlessly endangered by proximity to buildings of so combustible a nature and which are so liable to take fire at any time as was the case with the shops just burned. Another consideration should not be lost sight of, and that is the fact that we can ill afford to dispense with the services of those men who are thrown out of employment by this fire and with the increased business life and activity which their presence insures, and it is the manifest duty of our business and monied men as well as being for their best interest to render them such assistance as may be necessary to enable them to remain with us until they can obtain further employment.

New-Hampshire Sentinel, Keene, NH 15 Aug 1867


On the 12th of August the large shops on Mechanic street were destroyed by fire. They were occupied by Nims & Crossfield for making sash, doors and blinds, and by several smaller manufacturing concerns and individuals. The houses of Mr. Arba Kidder and Mr. John F. Prindell and several small buildings were also burned. Loss, $44,300; insured for $13,075. The fire started in the engine-house of Nims & Crossfield. Soon afterwards a corporation was formed, called the Keene Steam Power Company, which rebuilt the mills at a cost of about $40,000.

A History of the Town of Keene from 1732, when the Township was Granted by Massachusetts, to 1874, when it Became a City, 1904, page 532