Greenfield, MA Fires 1854-1869
January 18, 1854. H. G. Woodward's house on the Colrain road near the brickyard was badly damaged by fire.
March 22. A fire broke out in Colonel Phelps building (Sanborn's block). The row was occupied by Colonel Phelps (bookstore); A. P. Haskins (shoe shop) ; Josiah Day (jeweler). The building west owned by Willard heirs, by E. A. Clark (tailor), and the building east owned by H. W. Clapp by W. H. Sanborn (dry goods). All these stores were stripped of their goods and the fire subdued after a three hours' fight. Mr. Clapp presented the firemen $100 for their gallant work. Insurance covered nearly all losses.
June 9, 1857. P. T. Sprague's building (Fellows's shoe-store) destroyed by fire. Losses, W. D. Judd (shoes), $1,200; P. T. Sprague (building), $1,600 ; John Pooley, $400 ; J. McFarland (restaurant in basement), $500 ; William Eliott (insurance office), $200. W. H. Sanborn's store adjoining was saved, and he presented the firemen 100.
January 5, 1858. House just below the depot belonging to A. E. Reed badly damaged by fire.
August 16. J. Russell & Co., lose $1,000 by a fire at their shops. No insurance.
November 25, 1859. Three children of Patrick Fahey, locked up in the house by their mother while she went to the store on an errand, set the house on fire and were smothered in the ruins.
July 4, 1862. The Fire Department celebrate. Honorable Whiting Griswold, orator.
July 12. The barn and connecting sheds of Henry F. Billings, on the stage road," were destroyed by fire. Loss $1,000. Insurance $400.
July 16, 1865. Serious fire on Federal street. Stores of J. A. Clark & Co., Wm. M. Wise and stable of Martin Stetson destroyed.
January 22, 1866. Nash's mills totally destroyed by fire. Loss, $5,000. E. Q. Nash owned three fourths, Lyman A. Nash, one fourth. No insurance.
September 22, 1867. The barn of Reverend E. S. Potter, west Main street, was burned and the ell of the house badly damaged. Loss, $2,000. Insurance $1,175.
January 14, 1868. All the farm buildings of Joel Stearns, (Samuel Pierce place) burned by incendiary fire. Loss, $8,000. Insurance $3,000. Selectmen offer $500 reward for conviction of the guilty person.
July 13. Building next to the courthouse discovered on fire. Goods wet and building saved. George Hovey's loss $2,000, fully insured. L. N. Bailey loss $1,200, insured. H. M. Chase $700; insurance $500. Cephas Root's heirs, loss on building, $1,425 ; insured. Many of the records were removed from the courthouse.
July 17, 1868. The drop hammer shop, blacksmith shop and tempering shop of J. Russell & Co. were burned. Loss $10,000. Insurance $5,700.
October 25. Fire in the Pierce block (Strecker's). No serious damage.
December 31. The Gunn & Amidon shops on Cherry Rum creek burned.
History of Greenfield : shire town of Franklin County, Massachusetts, Greenfield, Mass.: 1904