Longmeadow, MA Forest Fire, Apr 1900

Birth, Marriage & Death Records

IN AND ABOUT SPRINGFIELD.

A BAD DAY FOR FOREST FIRES.

A HARD FIGHT AT LONGMEADOW.

Many Acres of Woodland Burned Over---A Veteran's Home Destroyed.

The most extensive forest fire in Longmeadow for years raged yesterday, and the red light shooting up for miles in the east last evening showed that it was still burning. The fire was first discovered in the vicinity of Converse street, east of South park terrace, about 8 in the morning, and the strong wind drove it southward until it reached Jawback and burned a house and barn on the Brainard road, belonging to a Mr. St. John, formerly of this city. Mr. St. John, who is a one-legged civil was pensioner, lost nearly everything but the clothes he wore. The fire was still burning near the Shaker ponds last evening, and had not been gotten under control. It is estimated that several hundred acres have been burned over. Ethan C. Ely alone having 150 to 200 acres burned, some of it timber wooded, and other tracts not as valuable. James Burbank, C. S. Allen, W. C. Pease, F. B. Allen and the Colton brothers were also sufferers, and the tract of land owned by the Turnverein of this city was burned over.

The fire wardens, C. S. Allen, Spencer Gates and others in the north district, got together a good sized company, who fought the fire by throwing up dirt with spades and shovels, but the frozen ground in some places hindered the work. Coffee and food were taken out to refresh the exhausted men during the day, and from time to time new recruits were added to the force. Yet, in spite of all efforts, the fire could not be mastered in some directions. It was impossible to prevent its terrific strides to the south. It was burning in Frank B. Allen's woods last evening, while unfortunately Mr. Allen was out of town. The origin of the fire was unknown, but forest fires annually occur at this season, usually from a spark dropped by a smoking hunter or fisherman, which easily lights the dry leaves and the high wind of yesterday caused the fire to be one of the worst remembered.

Springfield Daily Republican, Springfield, MA 27 Apr 1900