Cridersville in Auglaize County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Town Pond Reservoir Cridersville's Great Fire of 1918
The Village of Cridersville was founded in 1856. With the discovery of oil in 1885 the village prospered and grew quickly. Its business district developed along Main Street in the first block east of the railroad. The Town Pond Reservoir was constructed here in the 1890s to provide water in the event of fire. At 3:00 p.m. on May 2, 1918, a rubbish fire was started across the street from this pond and blew out of control. The fire ignited a nearby barn, and, with the aid of strong winds, soon carried to the business district on East Main Street. Wood frame construction and wooden shingles allowed the fire to spread rapidly. Within an hour both sides of Main Street were ablaze and the village had but a single hand pumper to fight the fire.
(Continued on other side)
The Lima and Wapakoneta Fire Companies were notified at once. Upon arrival, they began to pump from this pond and within an hour it was dry. Boy Scouts and soldiers from Lima also came to help fight the fire. The column of smoke could be seen for miles and the heat was so intense that trains could not pass through town. By 6:00 p.m. Cridersville's downtown was gone. Only the cast iron safe of the Home Bank remained among the embers. In all, 32 structures were destroyed and 50 people rendered homeless. Fortunately, no one
Erected 2003 by Cridersville Historical Society, Village of Cridersville, and The Ohio Historical Society. (Marker Number 4-6.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Ohio Historical Society / The Ohio History Connection marker series.
Location. 40° 39.191′ N, 84° 8.646′ W. Marker is in Cridersville, Ohio, in Auglaize County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street and the CSX railroad tracks, on the left when traveling west on Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 100 E. Main Street, Lima OH 45806, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Mary Shafer (approx. 1.1 miles away); Shawnee Council House (was approx. 2.9 miles away but has been reported missing. ); Sharp School Bell (approx. 3 miles away); Johnny Appleseed Tree (approx. 3 miles away); a different marker also named Shawnee Council House In Memory of Chief P-H-T and the Hawg Creek Shawnee (approx. 3.4 miles away); Veterans Freedom Flag Monument (approx. 3.9 miles away); Solar Refinery (approx. 5 miles away).
Also see . . . The Day Cridersville Almost Disappeared. (Submitted on March 15, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Categories. • Disasters • Industry & Commerce • Man-Made Features • Notable Events • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 15, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 1,044 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on March 15, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.