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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Augusta in Kennebec County, Maine — The American Northeast (New England)
 

The Great Fire / Le Grand incendie

The Museum in the Streets

 
 
The Great Fire / Le Grand incendie Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., July 30, 2017
1. The Great Fire / Le Grand incendie Marker
Inscription.  

On the morning of September 17, 1865, a fire began in the new, still unoccupied Dr. H. H. Hill building on the east side of Water Street, above Oak Street. An arsonist later convicted of setting a Portland fire was suspected, although nothing was ever proved. By the time the fire was brought under control at mid-day, it had consumed 81 buildings in downtown, including both sides of Water Street. Only heroic efforts by firemen and citizen volunteers (both men and women) using the city's new steam fire engine "Cushnoc" and the older hand-pump "Pacific"stopped the fire from sweeping north of Bridge Street. Hallowell, Gardiner, and Pittston engines aided in the effort. Out of this desolation rose the fine granite and brick buildings you see on Water Street today.

Le matin du 17 septembre 1865, un incendie se déclencha dans le nouveau bâtiment du Dr. H.H. Hill encore inoccupé côté Est de la rue Water, au dessus de la rue Oak. On soupçonna un pyromane qui fut plus tard condamné comme incendiaire à Portland, quoique rien n'ait jamais été prouvé. Lorsque l'incendie fut enfin contrôlé à midi, il avait détruit

The Great Fire / Le Grand incendie Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., July 30, 2017
2. The Great Fire / Le Grand incendie Marker
Looking north along Water Street
81 bâtiments du centre ville, en particulier les deux côtés de Water Street. Il fallut des efforts héroïques aux pompiers et citoyens bénévoles (hommes et femmes) qui employèrent le nouveau camion de pompiers à vapeur Cushnoc et l'ancienne pompe à main Pacific pour empêcher que l'incendie n'atteigne la rue Bridge au nord. Des camions de Hallowell, Gardiner et Pittson participèrent à cet effort. De cette désolation naquirent les superbes bâtiments en brique et granit que l'on peut voir aujourd'hui dans Water Street.

[Photo caption reads]
Water Street in ruins, 1865
 
Erected by Augusta Historic Preservation Commission, Kennebec Savings Bank, and the Maine Community Foundation. (Marker Number 14.)
 
Location. 44° 18.928′ N, 69° 46.438′ W. Marker is in Augusta, Maine, in Kennebec County. Marker is at the intersection of Water Street and Oak Street, on the right when traveling north on Water Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 253 Water Street, Augusta ME 04330, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. They Were Superior Buildings / Des bâtiments pittoresques (a few steps from this marker); A New Look for Water Street / Un nouvel arrivant dans Water Street (a few steps from this marker); Market Square / La place du Marché (within shouting distance of this marker); Augusta's Publishing Empire / L'empire de l'édition à Augusta (within shouting distance of this marker); An Ornament to the City / Un joyau de la ville (within shouting distance of this marker); Steamboat Landing / L'embarquement des bateaux à vapeur (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Old Fort Western on the Kennebec (about 300 feet away); Granite Block / Un Bâtiment en granit (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Augusta.
 
Also see . . .
1. "GREAT FIRE IN AUGUSTA, MAINE.; The Business Portion of the City Destroyed." (NY Times 1865). (Submitted on December 8, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. "Augusta commemorates massive downtown fire of 1865." (Crosby, 2015). (Submitted on December 8, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. The Museum in the Streets Tour Map, Augusta, Maine. (Submitted on December 8, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. Disasters

 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 8, 2017. This page originally submitted on December 8, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 112 times since then and 24 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 8, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
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