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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Bridgewater in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia — The Canadian Atlantic
 

The Great Fire 1899 / Le grand incendie de 1899

***Riverfront Renaissance***

 
 
The Great Fire 1899 / Le grand incendie de 1899 Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., July 25, 2017
1. The Great Fire 1899 / Le grand incendie de 1899 Marker
Inscription.

Up in Flames
In the cold, early hours of January 12, 1899, a fire began in the basement store of E. B. Simonson, located in the Music Hall at the corner of Dominion Street, and Commercial (now King) Street, where you are standing.

Battling the Blaze
Bridgewater's capable firemen were no match for the quickly spreading blaze, fanned by high winds. A locomotive from Lunenburg arrived with that town's fire brigade and equipment to assist the community. By this time the fire had claimed most of the town's businesses. Efforts quickly turned to saving private residences and by 6:00pm that evening, the fire was extinguished.

Out of the Ashes
The fire left 90 people homeless and the once prosperous business sector in ruins. Buildings on both sides of Commercial Street were gone, including the town's newspaper, telegraph and telephone offices.

The bridge was saved, as was Robert Dawson & Sons, now Cumings' Fire & Safety building. Efforts to clean up and rebuild began immediately. The riverbank side of the community was left deliberately free of structures for access to water in case of future fires. According to Mayor Frank Davison's annual report of 1899, "...the fine buildings had been erected in such a solid and modern style...", many of which remain to this day.

Discover

The Great Fire 1899 / Le grand incendie de 1899 Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., July 25, 2017
2. The Great Fire 1899 / Le grand incendie de 1899 Marker
Looking NE toward the Old Bridge Street bridge
more of Bridgewater's fascinating past by visiting the DesBrisay Museum, 130 Jubilee Road, Bridgewater 902.543.4033.

L'incendie
Le 12 janvier 1899, aux petites heures d'un matin froid, un feu se déclenche dans le sous-sol du magasin d'E. B. Simonson, situé dans la salle de concert, à l'angle des rues Dominion et Commercial (aujourd'hui rue King), où vous vous trouvez en ce moment.

La lutte contre les flammes
Les pompiers de Bridgewater, pourtant compétents, ne peuvent pas lutter contre ces flammes ardentes, attisées par de forts vents. La localité de Lunenburg envoie même, par locomotive, sa brigade de pompiers et de l'équipement pour aider la communauté. Hélas, le feu a déjà ravagé la plupart des entreprises et commerces de la ville. Les hommes concentrent donc leurs efforts sur la sauvegarde des maisons privées et à 18 h, ils parviennent enfin à éteindre l'incendie.

Renaître des cendres
L'incendie laisse 90 personnes sans abri et un secteur industriel, autrefois prospère, en ruines. Des deux côtés de la rue Commercial, tout est parti en fumée, notamment les bureaux du téléphone, du télégraphe et du journal de la ville. Heureusement, quelques structures subsistent, comme le pont et l'entreprise Robert Dawson & Sons, aujourd'hui l'édifice de la Cumings' Fire & Safety.

Tout de suite, on se retrousse

The Great Fire 1899 / Le grand incendie de 1899 Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., July 25, 2017
3. The Great Fire 1899 / Le grand incendie de 1899 Marker
Looking SE along the LaHave River and King Street
les manches pour nettoyer et rebâtir, sauf dans le secteur riverain de la communauté pour laisser libre accès à l'eau en cas de feu. L'année 1899 n'est même pas finie que le rapport annuel du maire Frank Davison constate que « ...de beaux édifices modernes et solides ont été construits... ». Nombre d'entre eux ont subsisté jusqu'à ce jour!

Pour en savoir plus sur le fascinant passé de Bridgewater, visitez le musée DesBrisay. 130, chemin Jubilee, Bridgewater, 902.543.4033

[Top photo caption reads/La légende de la photo supérieure lit]
Residents walk along the ruins of Commercial Street.
Residents marchant rue Commercial après l'incendie.

[Photo captions read/Légendes des photos lues]
1.
"Burning Bridgewater", by photographer H. O. Dodge.
« Bridgewater en flammes », par le photographe H.O. Dodge.

2. Chimneys spared by the fire, Commercial Street.
Cheminées épargneées par le feu, rue Commercial.

3. Bridgewater firemen with steam engine.
Pompiers de Bridgewater avec la pompe à vapeur.

4. Some of the new buildings erected after the fire.
Quelques bâtiments construits après l'incendie.
 
Erected by Bridgewater Development Association’s Riverfront Renaissance Action Team. (Marker Number 6.)
 
Location. 44° 22.651′ N, 64° 31.104′ W. Marker is in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, in Lunenburg County. Marker is at the intersection of King Street (Nova Scotia Route 3) and the Old Bridge Street bridge over the LaHave River (Nova Scotia Route 3), on the right when traveling north on King Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: Pijinuiskaq Park, Bridgewater, Nova Scotia B4V 1B3, Canada.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within 16 kilometers of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Bridges / Les ponts (within shouting distance of this marker); War Memorial (approx. 13.5 kilometers away); First Peoples (approx. 16.2 kilometers away); Foreign Protestant Settlement in Lunenburg (approx. 16.2 kilometers away); The Early Acadian History of Lunenburg (approx. 16.2 kilometers away).
 
Also see . . .
1. Bridgewater Town History and Background. (Submitted on January 8, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Bridgewater's Built Heritage. (Submitted on January 8, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. DisastersIndustry & CommerceMan-Made FeaturesSettlements & Settlers

 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 8, 2018. This page originally submitted on January 8, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 57 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 8, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
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