Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Fire in Jamestown

Jamestown, Tuolumne Co., Oct. 3rd, 1855 Editors Alta:—

Yesterday afternoon, about 5 1/2 o'clock, a fire broke out in this town which consumed about 25 buildings, mostly stores. It commenced in a stable used by Mr. Butterfield, a merchant of this place The buildings in the portion of the town consumed being all frame ones, the flames spread with great rapidity. About the time the fire get good headway the wind completely died away, and bad an effect in a great measure of stopping the fire from going up the street. But the main check was given to the fire by the able and efficient manner in which the operatives of our Hook and Ladder Co were used. Below you have the names of the principal sufferers :

B F. Butterfield. $10,000; Col.Wm. Donavan, $15,000; Chat Heffernan, 10.000; Drs.. J. W. and M T. Dodrre, 4,000; Leland A Rayner, 1,500; B. Keebin, 5.000; Masonic Lodge, 3,000; Zuttnan. 2,000; Peter Mitchell, (colored) 3,000; Mrs. Meyers, 800; Am Carlio. 2,500; W. Luberg, 500, and some others whose losses are small.

Yours, &c. MORRISON & CRIM, Agents Pacific Express Co.


-- Daily Alta California, Volume 6, Number 246, 6 October 1855


In antebellum California, fire was the greatest danger. Films and TV show us gun fights and outlaws, but San Francisco experienced seven great fires between 1849 and 1852. Each destroyed hundreds of buildings. The largest in 1851 burned three-quarters of the city. Millions of dollars pouring in from the Gold Rush provided the funds to rebuild.

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