Mystery fires cause havoc
Two fires in Warrensburgh occurring within two hours after midnight June 3, 1912 in different parts of the town, completely destroyed three buildings and their contents and badly damaged a fourth, leaving six families homeless.
The first and most destructive fire started in the living rooms of R.B. Millis in his store and residence building in Lewisville (River St.) and quickly gained headway. The cause is a total mystery. Mrs. Millis discovered her kitchen a mass of flames and in her excitement she ran barefoot to give the alarm and her feet were severely cut by broken glass.
The nearby mills did not carry enough steam to blow their whistles at that hour and no alarm was sounded until the sexton of the Methodist Episcopal church was able to ring the church bell.
The flames spread to Herrick’s store building on the east where the families of James G. Herrick and Ernest Whipple lived in apartments on the second floor. The residence of Sanford Young (“Under the Elms”) was badly scorched.
The fire quickly spread to the residence of Daniel J. March. Part of the building was occupied by his sister Dora March and his mother and the flames spread so quickly that little was saved.
Everything was taken from C.A. Bowen’s store adjoining the March property which was occupied by Rose and May Burdick who were away from home. The street was lined on both sides by goods and household effects removed by a large crowd of willing volunteers.
While attempting to remove a live electric light wire which had fallen in front of the burning buildings, Alex Smith was caught in the circuit and for a number of seconds before the wire could be removed he laid in the street groaning with intense agony. The thumb of his right hand was burned so badly that it is thought amputation may be necessary.
About a half an hour after the first fire started, the big barn on the John L. Russell place (Bonnie Brae Villa) uptown was discovered in flames. It was found that the barn had caught on fire from an unknown cause and the flames were beyond control as there was a large quantity of hay in the building. Before long the building was destroyed. The doors were locked and two horses and a cow, property of Benjamin Whipple, perished in the blaze. The cause of the fires is under investigation. (Note: Bonnie Brae Villa, owned by widow Mary Russell, was behind our current post office near Raymond Lane. It burned in 1980 in a spectacular and suspicious fire.)
Charley goes on tour
Charles M. Miller of Glens Falls, better known as “Broncho Charley,” will soon go on the road with an outfit with which he will realistically depict the sinking of the Titanic. Charley has built a model of the vessel four feet long and three feet high which will be floated and sunk in a tank 20 feet square. (Note: Charley was a well known character in Glens Falls who for many years toured with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.)
Murderer told to pay wife alimony
Deloria Sousiese, who killed his daughter and wounded his wife near Dannemora some time ago is named a defendant in a divorce suit filed by his wife. The court has granted the applicant $20 a week alimony since the shooting to the present date and $15 a week until the suit is decided.
Truck injures worker
In attempting to pass a stalled automobile May 20, 1912 on the Warrensburgh-Lake George road, an automobile truck, owned by contractor Herlihy of Glens Falls, skidded and pinned the driver against a telephone pole with such force that one of the bones of his leg was broken. The injured man was brought to Warrensburgh by a passing team and after a brief consultation with Dr. Goodman, he was taken to Glens Falls Hospital on the trolley car.
Activity in Lake George
The story of how Manager Mortimer M. Kelly of the Fort William Henry Hotel convinced some out of town guests that there were fish in Lake George is gaining considerable circulation. Mr. Kelly, just to “show them,” donned fishing togs and took a line or two out on the lake. In only a couple of hours he returned with 39 pounds of the finest lake trout ever.
Many new summer homes are being built this spring at Lake George and extensive additions are being made to the new Fort William Henry Hotel which is nearing completion after the fire. The pergola will make this structure one of the most attractive parts of the hotel grounds. The new Delaware and Hudson station next door is very artistic and was ready by June 1, 1912. The cost is in excess of $20,000.
The village is the scene of unusual activity this spring. The buildings formerly occupied by the Lake George Country Club will be utilized as a hotel this season under the management of the owner, A.H. Russell, who was formerly proprietor of the Lake House. Supervisor E.J. Worden, owner and proprietor of the Arlington and Worden Hotels, is making big improvements to his proprieties.
Short lives, sad farewells
Howard G. Hammond, 26, of Lake George, died at Glens Falls Hospital where he had been taken for treatment. He leaves a widow and two small children.
Mrs. William Wood, 25, died Monday, May 27, 1912 at her home in Thurman after a short illness. She is survived by her husband, two small children and her parents, Mr. and Mrs. George Moyer.
Miss Edna M. Rice, 21, a daughter of Frank Rice, died Monday morning, May 20, 1912 in New York City. Death was caused by tubercular throat trouble of four weeks duration. She was a 1909 graduate of Luzerne High School. The funeral was one of the largest ever attended in Luzerne and the floral tributes were many.
News near and far
A stone mansion built in Whitehall in 1872 at a cost estimated from $60,000 to $250,000 was sold at auction in May, 1912 for $3,000. (Note: Today, that grand building on the side of the mountain, overlooking the town, is known as Skene Manor and is open to the public.)
In an explosion of a steam vulcanizer at the Empire Rubber Co. plant in Trenton, N.J., during which a five ton steel door was blown 40 feet and embedded in the side of the building, Harry Cross, a rubber worker and two laborers were badly injured.
Everything is growing fine now although we have had a very cold, backward spring. Hay and fruit promise to be abundant crops.
Ulric Van Dusen has purchased a four-passenger Sears automobile and tried it out for the first time when he made a trip to Stony Creek. (Note: The electric self-starter was developed in 1911 by Charles Franklin Kettering and introduced in the 1912 Cadillac which enormously expanded the car market as cranking an automobile was not for the faint of heart.)
A son was born on June 12, 1912 to Mrs. Peter Savraie of North Thurman.
Alfred J. Rhodes of Argyle and Miss Lena E. Barton of Thurman were married by the Rev. H.F. Titus on June 9, 1912 at the Methodist Episcopal Church in Warrensburgh.
Readers are welcome to contact Adirondack Journal correspondent Jean Hadden at email@example.com or 623-2210.