Further Details of the Disastrous Blow to Our Sister Borough.
The Lawrenceville fire last Wednesday morning, of which meager details were given in last week’s Agitator, involved a lost of nearly $50,000. It was a serious blow to the town, as it wiped out the best business block and there is great uncertainty about rebuilding the burned district.
Messr. Wing & Bostwick, whose large general store occupied the Rusling brick building on the corner, were able to take care of the goods they saved by transferring them to their Corning store. At Corning, on the north side, this firm has met with such success in trade that they purchased an $8,000 lot and propose to build a large department store thereon. There is a rumor that they will not resume at Lawrenceville, but will devote all their capital and energy to their Corning establishment. If this is true, it will be much regretted at Lawrenceville.
There is a very sensational story afloat about the origin of the fire. It was an ugly which kicked over a lantern and started the Chicago fire. It is said that it was a family row, a woman unable to control her temper and a lighted lamp which she hurled at the head of her husband which caused the blaze at Lawrenceville which worked so much destruction. It is too often said “there was a woman in the case.” But here, if all accounts are verified, there was also another man in the affair and also prominently in evidence on the streets during the early stages of the fire.
A Lawrenceville correspondent writes: “The blaze originated in the building occupied by Spring’s millinery store. There were three persons in the building—two men and a woman. A quarrel is alleged to have occurred, and it is claimed that the woman either threw or dropped the lamp which started the blaze. The flimsy material burned like a flash and within a minute the quarreling trio were forced to flee for their lives partially dressed. One man is said to have borrowed a pair of trousers many sizes too small for him, and with his feet encased in a tan slipper and a rubber warmed himself with the fire from the town’s biggest establishment. He is said to have suffered a personal loss of $75 and a gold watch.”
The places burned were the Rusling block containing the public hall and Wing & Bostwick’s general store, the law office of A.D. Broughton, Esq., and the telephone exchange; Mrs. Spring’s millinery store, and the flour and feed store of N. Eaton & Son.
The losses are estimated as follows: The Rusling block, $12,000;Wing & Bostwick’s store, $30,000; lawoffices, A.D. Broughton, $500; Mrs. Spring’s millinery store, $400; N. Eaton & Son’s store and flour and feed stock, between $3,000 and $4,000; Darling block, $1,800. All of these places were insured, although it is understood that none of them carried anywhere near the full amount.
Source: Wellsboro Gazette, December 31, 1902.