Canaseraga swept by fierce flames.

"Half the population rendered homeless.  The loss will aggregate to $100,000.  No lives were sacrificed but there were several casualties.

Rochester, March 28, 1895.  Early, the entire Village of Canaseraga was wiped out by fire this morning.  It started at 12:40 AM near the Cottage Hotel and under a brisk breeze spread rapidly to neighboring buildings. 

The entire population was called out to fight the flames, but it was uncontrollable.

Everywhere the scenes were most exciting.  Merchants and householders attempted to move their possessions but were cut short by the flames.  Word was sent to this city at 1:45 AM, and at 3:30 a special train with two companies and an engine were dispatched.

The entire business portion of the village is in ruins.  No loss of life is reported, but there are a number of injuries.  Half the population is homeless. Thirty houses are in ruins.  Loss about $100,000.00."


March 28, 1895






The dreaded has happened, and our beautiful village laid waste.  Fire was discovered in the rear of Henry Hulburt’s store about one o’clock Thursday morning,  March 28th.  An alarm was soon given, but a strong wind was blowing  from the west and before a stream of water could be obtained the fire had enveloped the stores of Mr. Hulburt and S. N. Bennett.  A few minutes later it jumped the street and attacked the brick block on the corner of Main and Church streets.  The wind, which was at  times almost a hurricane drove the flames through these stores and against the buildings on the opposite side of the street and they almost instantly caught fire.

A little later the Crandall house also caught fire.  Then it seemed to be a race between the two to see which could reach the creek first.  The fire on the south side of the street won. While yet the Wm C. Windsor building was burning, the fire took a leap to Dr. Bacon’s barn.  From thence it spread to his house and was soon both up and down the street.  From the place of starting, it broke up against the wind and destroyed the Central House.

Meanwhile, the fire company had been driven north on Church Street and had made a stand at the Bluestone house.  After a hard fight, this was saved, as was also Jas. Prendergast’s shop, the bowling alley and the horse sheds belonging to Manning Arnold.  Before these were scarcely out of danger, the company made an effort to head off the fire before it reached River Street.  In this, with the help of the citizens, they were successful, and the hand of desolation was stayed.  The fire seemed to have gotten its fill.

The barn of Edgar Boylan half a mile away caught fire and was burned.  Fires were set in innumerable places by the burning cinders. Some of which were carried two or three miles.  It was a veritable rain of fire and enough to try the stoutest nerves.

The burned district comprises everything on the south side of Main Street, from D. H. Holliday’s office and the Central House barn to the creek.  On the North side it extends from Mrs. Edward Mundy’s house to the residence of Mr. Carney on the corner of Main and River Streets.  Everything on Church Street from the railroad tracks to the Bluestone house on one side and Jas Prendergasts shop on the other is gone.  The west side of Pratt Street is burned as far as Edward Burrell’s house.  Mr. Tuchler’s house and barn were the only buildings consumed on the other side.  The completeness of the destruction may be imagined from the fact that aside from a meat market, a jewelry shop, a blacksmith shop, the cigar factory and the two depots, not a place of business was left.  Fortunately none of the churches were destroyed.

The speed with which the flames traveled would seem incredible to those who never witnessed a large fire.  The intense heat broke windows across the street and in this way the fire gained access to the interior of the buildings at once.  Even the brick walls crumbled and  fell.  In a little more than two hours, the ruin was complete.

Very little was saved from any of the buildings burned.  None of the merchants had time to save much of anything.  When the house holders realized their danger, few of them could do more than gather up a little clothing and run before the fire was upon them.  There is practically no salvage to effect the insurance.

Considering the rapidity with which the fire spread, it is a wonder that no lives were lost.  Mr. Hulburt was forced to grab his clothes and rush out on the street where he dressed himself.  In her efforts to save household goods, Mrs. Jonathan Garwood was severely burned, mostly about the face and hands.  While her burns are serious she will probably recover.  Henry Radka, employee of the Wooster Mfg Co. was forced to jump from an awning and sprained an ankle.

As soon as the seriousness of the fire became apparent, aid was asked from Hornellsville.  A special train brought the steamer and two hose companies, the Maple City and the Emerald.  Owing to some unavoidable delays, the fire was under control when they reached here.  However, they showed their goodwill and the citizens of this place desire in this public manner to extend sincere thanks to them for their kindness and also to the Erie railway company.

As to the origin of the fire, it will probably always remain a mystery.  When first discovered, it had enveloped the rear end or Mr. Hulburt’s store. Whether it started in the woodshed or the second story of the attic does not appear.

This is the worst fire Canaseraga ever experiences, although the village has before suffered from two large and destructive fires.  This is a terrible blow to the business interests of the place, but the enterprising capitalists and merchants will not be downed.  As soon as possible new and finer business structures will again adorn the streets.  We could not have been more seriously taught the need of water works.  With a good system the fire might have been subdued at the start.

Below we give the individual losses and the insurance as far as we have been able to ascertain at present:

John Daley, Prop. Central House - loss $5,000  - insurance $2500

George Henry, residence – loss $400

Dr. A. T. Bacon, drug store -   loss $6,000 - insurance $4500

James Gemmel, dry goods store – loss $6000 – insurance $4500

Shear and Montgomery, hardware – loss $4500 – insurance $2800

S. N. Bennett, feed and grocery store – loss $3500 – insurance $2200

Frank S. Kingston, saloon – loss $5300 – insurance $2300

Elmer Clapp, saloon – loss $1200 – insurance $400

John Kingston, saloon – loss $3000 – insurance $8000

Thomas Wallace, grocery and residence – loss $8200 – insurance $4900

T. G. Wooster Mfg Co Furniture factory - loss $10,000 – insurance $2000

M. C. Broas, residence - loss $100

D. Fisher, harness shop - loss $200

Dr. Harris, office and residence – loss $450 – no insurance

W. H. Dunn, residence – loss $450 – no insurance

O. E. Shay, Postmaster, personal property – loss $1200 – insurance $800

G. C. Wentworth, P.O. Building – loss $2500 – insurance $1500

W. C. Windsor, lawyer and Insurance agent – loss $4500 – insurance $2500

Frank S. Miller, Prop. Canaseraga Times – loss $2500 – insurance $1500

M. Tuchler, clothier – loss $18,000 – insurance $8000

E. P. Green, saloon – loss $3800 – insurance $1800

E. W. Sutfun, drugs – loss $3500 – insurance $2500

Mrs. J. Garoow,  milliner – loss $900 – insurance $400

AE Prior, shoe shoop – loss $900 – insurance $250

L. A. Gottschall, dwelling and barber shop – loss $2800 – insurance $500

Mrs Dowds, residence – loss $1500

David McGibney, 2 dwellings and shop – loss $3000 – insurance $1350

Arthur Hamilton, residence – loss $450

Adolph Bluestone, dwelling nearly total loss

Jonathan Garwood, residence total loss

Dr. A. T. Bacon, residence – loss $4600 – insurance $1500

Moses McMaster, residence – loss $1500 – insurance $1000

Samuel Watkins, residence and laundry total loss

Fay Miller, residence – loss $3000 – insurance $1000

George Damon, feed store – loss $1500 – insurance $1000

T. G. Wooster, undertaker – loss $12,000 – insurance $2900

Arnold & Post, Prop Crandall House – loss $6300 – insurance $2500

S. J. Craig, groceries and dry goods – loss $22000 – insurance $12,000

Mr. Dunham, residence, total loss

D. H. Hawley, hardware and residence – loss $6000 – insurance $2300

Canaseraga Banking Co – loss $2500 – insurance $1000

Bryon Boylan, residence - $900 – insurance $500

Henry Hulburt, groceries – loss $2500 – insurance $1000

Bert Deitz, barber shop – l;oss $500 – insurance $200

Dr. Pratt, office and residence – loss $3000

Mrs. Geo Damon, millinery and residence – loss $3000 – insurance $1000

O. A. H. About $100 total loss

Wm Hyde, store – loss $2800 – insurance $1300

H. Colegrove, jeweler – loss $800 – insurance  $500

H. F. L. Whitney – loss $1000 – insurance $500

Windsor Estate – loss $3000 – insurance unknown

Michael Lynch – loss $250

J. G. Stadleman – loss $300 – no insurance

I.O.G.T – loss $50 – no insurance

G.A.R. – loss $30 – no insurance

F& AM – loss $800 – insurance $300

A.W. Boyd – loss $1000 – insurance unknown

Mrs. Ellen Boyd – loss $1000 – insurance unknown

Benj. Clapp – loss $1200 – insurance unknown

R. Newton – loss $1200 – insurance unknown

J. Bowen – loss $800 – insurance $465

J. Bowen – loss $2500 – insurance unknown

E. E. Swain – loss $500 – insurance $150

Fire Co. – loss $150 – no insurance

AJ Thomas – loss $800 – insurance $150

Mrs. Johnson – loss $1000 – insurance unknown

D. F. Kingston – loss $800 – no insurance

Edgar Boylan – loss $350 – no insurance

E. Bailey – loss $2000 – no insurance

D. C. Wolverton – loss $300 – no insurance