New York, NY Barnum's Museum fire, Mar 1868

Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Burning of Barnum's Museum.

From New York dispatches of the 3d in the Western papers, we gather the following additional particulars:

A fire broke out shortly after midnight, in Barnum's Museum, in the portion occupied by Van Amberg's menagerie. So rapidly did the flames spread that it was found impossible to save any of the larger amimals [sic]. The yells of the animals, as the flames reached them, were appalling, and they bounded from side to side, or darted madly against the bars of their cages, in vain efforts to free themselves. A few animals, among them a kangaroo, a small leopard, a few monkeys, together with the pelican and a variety of other small birds, were got out. The electrical machine was also saved. On the Mercer street side the police and others were more successful. The giraffe, two camels, a pair of Japanese hogs, a Burmese cow, a lama, and a variety of small animals were got out. Many of them had narrow escapes, and a few were slightly singed. The firemen were at work at another fire in Spring street, and when they arrived the building was wrapped in flames. In a short time the interior was burned out, and the adjoining building seriously damaged. The side of the Prescott House was on fire at one time, but was saved by extraordinary exertions. The thieves, in the confusion, managed to appropriate a considerable amount of property. Several spectators were relieved of their watches and wallets.

The loss on the museum and contents, including Van Amburg's menagerie, will amount to $500,000; insured, butto [sic] what amount cound not be learned. The basement of 539, occupied by a restaurant, lost in stock about $25,000; insured. Basement of 541, occupied by Sergier & Clinton as a sample room, lost on liquors and fixtures, $50,000. No. 537, four-story building, occupied on the fourth floor by P. Frankenheimer, on the third by Heisige, dealer in furs, on the second by John Wiley, book publisher, and on the first floor by B. Kahar, optician - all lose heavily on stock by fire and water. No. 545, occupied on the first floor by the Eliptic Sewing Machine Company, on the second by Mr. Hal, music publisher, and the upper floor by various parties, all suffer heavy loss. The upholstery store of Samuel F. Ireland, of Mercer street, in the rear, was burned out. Several other parties lose heavily. All the people in the museum were saved.

The Macon Weekly Telegraph, Macon, GA 13 Mar 1868