Providence, RI Howard Block Fire, Nov 1853

Birth, Marriage & Death Records

DESTRUCTIVE FIRE IN PROVIDENCE. - About 11 o'clock last evening a fire broke out in the dry goods store of William l. Ellis, in Howard Block, on Westminster street, which spread rapidly through the entire block, which was totally destroyed with almost entire contents.

The flames the communicated to the Museum Building which was also destroyed with nearly all its contents.

The building west of Howard Block, eight buildings on the north, and two more east of the Museum were also destroyed.

Howard Block, - Owned by George A. Howard - a splendid building four stories high, extending from Westminster street to Exchange Place. This is one of the largest and most extensive blocks in the State - has been built about five years, in which was an elegant Hall. Cost about $80,000. Insured for $30,000. - $10,000 at that Mutual in this city.
This block was occupied on the first floor, West store, by William L. Southwick, Clothing dealer. Mr. Southwick's loss is about $6,000. Insured at Hartford City office for $3,000.

On the fourth floor, in front, was Terpsichore Hall, and the rear was occupied by Mr. Howard for storing furniture, and the fifth as a repair shop.

William Irving Ellis, dry goods dealer, occupied the next store in the block. Loss $20,000. Insured for $10,000 - $6,000 at the Etna, Hartford, and $4,050 at the Springfield Fire Marine.

C. R. Atkinson & Co., fancy goods dealer, East store. Loss from $8,000 to $10,000. Insures for $8,000 at the American Office in this city.

The second story was occupied mainly by William A. Howard as a furniture ware room.- His entire stock, amounting to about $50,000, was destroyed. Insured for $22,000 - 5,000 at the Atlantic in this city, 5,000 at the Springfield Fire Marine, the balance unknown.

Miss A. Rhodes occupied the West store, on the second floor. The amount of loss and insurance not ascertained. The East store on this floor had been occupied by John M. Flagg until within two or three weeks.

Museum Building - Owned by Gammriel Lyman Dwight, Montgagee. This building was nearly new, having been built about five years, was totally destroyed. Loss $35,000. Insured for $15,000 - $2000 Roger Williams, Providence; $5000 Cochituate, Boston; $5000 American Mutual, Amsterdam, N. Y.; $3000 Merchants and Farmers, Worcester.

The West store was occupied by W. H. Low, Shoe Dealer. Loss between $6 000 and $7,000. Insured for $3,000 at Peoples Mutual, Worcester.

James B. Hodges & Co., Carpet Dealer, occupied the East store. Loss about $20,000. - Insured for $13,000 - a portion at the Atlantic in this city.

Taber & Co., Music Dealers, occupied the East store. The upper part was occupied mainly as a Museum. W. C. Forbes, Lessee, Mr. Forbes saved a part of his wardrobe, but his scenery, paintings, & c., including the Panorama of Paris and London, were totally destroyed. Mr. Forbes's loss about $2,000. No insurance.

The remainder of the upper part of the building was occupied for billiard and drinking saloons. The wooden building West was owned by William A. Howard, and occupied by Albert S. Calder, apothecary, James M. Bostwick & Co., confectioners, and S. Tyler & Co., furniture dealers. The upper part was occupied by Dr. Jonathan A. Smith, Mrs. Hall, and Mrs. Kenton. A portion of their goods in this building were saved. The building was insured at the Providence Mutual.

Mr. Calder was partially insured at the Pawtucket Mutual. Mr. Bostwick's loss was about $22,000. Insured for $1,300 at the Worcester Mutual. Tyler & Co.'s loss $25,000 - insurance $5,000.

A small building occupied by Samuel H. Wales, Jeweler and Watch Maker, was crushed by the falling of the walls of the Museum Building. Nothing had been removed. A portion of the building occupied by Stone & Bennett, confectioners, and Charles Snow, so dealer was also crushed. The contents partially removed.

In the rear of Howard Block, the Railroad House, occupied by Chandley & Davenport, as a drinking saloon, a stable, owned by Elisha Dyer, and occupied by Mrs. C. W. Hunt, Morris Marks, and a Mr. English were partly consumed.

Mr. Dyer's building was insured at the Providence Mutual.

Barre Gazzette, Barre, MA 4 Nov 1853