York County GenWeb: History Gibson Fire Part 2
Gibson Fire - June 20, 1893


In part 1 we read of the devastation caused by the June 20, 1893, fire along what is now Gibson Street; and from Neill St. along Union to the Nashwaak. We continue the long list of families affected by the fire moving out from Close's Comer (i.e. Union & Gibson) on the north side of what is now known as Gibson Street. Insurance where carried in [ ]:

Shop owned by P.A. Logan and occupied by Miss Merrithew, dressmaker, $200 value. Miss Merrithew lost nearly all her goods.

Dwelling owned by P.A. Logan, occupied by Wm Dennison. Value $1,200. All furniture lost.

Dwelling owned by Maurice Macklin, occupied by Robert Noble, value $1,100. All furniture lost. [Insurance $1,000]

Dwelling and Shop owned by Charles Bailey. Value $1,200. All furniture, stock valued at $2,000-$3,000 and account books lost.

Dwelling and Blacksmith shop of C.A. Parlee. value $800. Almost everthing lost. [$400 on dwelling]

Dwelling of Wm Rosborough occupied by James Semple and another family. Value $2,000. Furniture all lost. This was formerly the Orange Hall. [$1,100]

Dwelling owned and occupied by B. Webb. Value $500. Furniture all lost.

Dwelling owned in Fredericton, occupied by Robert Johnston, value $600. Furniture nearly all lost.

Shop owned by above person in Fredericton, occupied by James Merrithew as feed store. Value $300-$400. All stock lost.

Dwelling owned by Wm. H. White, occupied by John Billings. immediately below Methodist Church (now Gibson Memorial United) was saved.

On the opposite side of what is now Gibson Street from the comer with Union the following were consumed in the conflagration along with Gibson's hotel on the comer:

Blacksmith shop of Wm. Bradley. Value $300. Everything lost.

Dwelling of David Evans. Value $300. Nearly all furniture lost.

Dwelling owned by Christopher Robinson. occupied by James Merrithew. Value $1,200. Furniture nearly all lost.

Dwelling of Lewis Belyea. Value $1,000. Furniture nearly all lost.

Shop owned by Lewis Belyea occupied by Lloyd Belyea. Value $200. All stock lost.

Dwelling of Everett Johnson. Value $1,000. Almost all furniture lost. [$500 on building]

John Kyle's dwelling and store. Value $1,200. All stock and nearly all furniture lost. [$700]

Wm. H. White's Hotel. Furniture all lost. Value $2,000. [$2,000] This building was on the southwest corner of what are now Gibson and Barker Streets. Beyond the comer on Gibson St. two homes were consumed:

Dwelling of Edward Johnson. All furniture lost. Value $1,000. [$700 on dwelling, $350 on furniture.]

Dwelling of David Coombes. All furniture lost. Value $1,000. [$800]

On the north side of the Nashwaak Bridge Road (Barker Street) the following were destroyed:

Dwelling of Fred Pond. All furniture lost. Value $1,000. [$800]

Dwelling of Widow Byram. Furniture all lost. Value $600 [$500]

Dwelling of John Taylor. Nearly all furniture lost. Value $600

Dwelling of John Boyd. Most furniture saved. Value $800.

On the south side of the Nashwaak Bridge Road the following were burnt:

Dwelling of Widow Wallace occupied by George Logan. All furniture lost. Value $800.

Dwelling owned by Wm. Campbell, occupied by Charles Sterling. All furniture lost. Value $1,000. [$250 on furniture]

On the cross Road from the Nashwaak Bridge Road to Main Street (Titus Street?) the following were devoured in the flames:

Dwelling of Horatio Fradsham. Furniture nearly all lost. Value $1,200. [$800]

Dwelling of Sherwood Yerxa. Nearly all furniture lost. Value $1,200. [Insurance $750]

Dwelling of Mrs. McLaughlin of Boston, occupied by Hartley Smith & Samuel Gorse. Furniture nearly all lost. Value $1,200.

Dwelling owned by Mrs. McLaughlin, occupied by Turney Estabrooks. Nearly all furniture lost. Value $600.

Dwelling of Charles Titus. Everything lost. Value $600.

Dwelling of Moses White. Everything destroyed. Value $800. [$1,000]1

Providentially no one was directly killed in the fire. Sadly, one person, James R. Ruel was burned seriously enough about the arms and back to be hospitalized.2 The other person reported injured was the Rector of St. Mary's, the Rev'd John Parkinson who had his hands badly scorched as he tried in vain to save his valuable library which included a collection of theological works which he and his father had collected.3

By Thursday, 2 days after the fire, a relief committee was formed consisting of:
Jas. E. Simmons, President,
Geo. S. Peters, Secretary,
Hubbard Nile,
Thomas Hoben,
B.H. Babbitt.

Hall's Bookstore in Fredericton became a depot for donations from Fredericton and a public meeting was held in the city on Friday evening to consider ways and means to help. Likewise, in Marysville, Boss Gibson and the ladies immediately volunteered assistance to "the lady sufferers and children in the way of clothing, boots and shoes, hats and caps and all other items of ladies apparel."3

The Methodist Church Hall became a shelter where meals were served and "every resident in Gibson, north of the burnt district, cheerfully found shelter for their unfortunate neighbours; others were accommodated by our citizens (i.e. Frederictonians)."4

Guardian angels were certainly at work when Mrs. Macklin in the excitement left her baby down in the field for a minute and when she returned it was gone. She was beside herself till it was discovered in the care of a neighbour half an hour afterward.5

The Country Recorder, Abraham Yerxa had buried his wife Catherine the previous week, and was left homeless at an age of 71.6

Mr. And Mrs. B.H. Babbitt, lost house and home, but were compensated by the safe arrival in the early hours of the day after the fire of a baby daughter7

I. The Daily Gleaner, June 21, 1893; 
2. ibid.; 
3. ibid. June 22, 1893; 
4. ibid. June 21, 1893; 
5. ibid.; 
6. ibid.; 1891 Census Div 1, p.44, line 18; 
7. The Daily Gleaner, June 21. 1893.

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Last updated: February, 2001