Bruce County Genealogical Society - Newsletter Article
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Bruce County Genealogical Society

Box 1083, Port Elgin, Ontario, Canada N0H 2C0

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Previously printed in the Bruce Bulletin, Volume 14, Issue 1, February 2003
From the  Lucknow Sentinel, Friday, July 20, 1888

A Big Blaze
The Village of Ripley Swept by Fire
Almost the Entire Business Portion of the Village Destroyed

Only a few weeks ago almost the entire village of Chesley, in the Northern part of this County, was destroyed by fire, and now come the fiery elements to lay the thriving village of Ripley in ashes. About one o'clock on Friday morning last, flames were seen issuing from the hardware store of James A. McLeod, and in a few minutes the whole structure was enveloped in a blaze. There was a strong wind blowing at the time and the flames were soon fanned to the adjoining buildings. John Martin's wagon shop next took fire, from which it spread to a private house on the west side, owned by John Martin and occupied by George Henderson, and on the east side to Robert Morgan's stable and shed. By this time upwards of 100 men with pails endeavoured to confine the flames to these buildings, but in vain. Flames and burning shingles shot across the street into the front of MacDonald & Humberstone's drygoods store. On this side of the street the fire made equally rapid progress. Bell's harness shop on the west side and Whiddon's shoe shop on the east were soon in flames. All hopes were now abandoned of saving the buildings on Queen Street, also Huron Street south, as both were joined together. R. McLeod's tailor shop on the east and D. McDonald's grocery on the west were the next to fall, then Miss McAuley's millinery store and H. P. Chapman's book store and printing office, spreading west to Mrs. McLeod's millinery, H. A. Coulter's furniture store and J. E. Mulholland's photograph gallery.

On Huron Street fire broke out in the rear of Mrs. William's millinery store, J. R. Munshaw's jewelry, D. Murchison's book and jewelry store, Mrs. McCallum's dressmaking shop, H. P. Chapman's shop and J. A. Grundy's bakery, all at the same time. The excitement was now at its highest pitch and the streets were black with people endeavouring to save as much as possible out of the unburned buildings. The fire soon spread to T. W. Davis' hardware and tin shop, and thence to Dr. E. A. G. Smith's drug store. The next and last business to fall was Jackson Bros. Bank. The last building of importance was a private dwelling house owned by T. W. Davis and occupied by J. E. Mulholland.

[The next lengthy paragraph gives the estimate of all the losses, stating whether or not each was covered by insurance.]

In all about twenty-seven buildings were destroyed, and the loss is estimated at about $50,000. Only two stores escaped the devouring elements.

Bruce County's Townships (before  1998 amalgamations)

Albemarle Township
Colpoy's Bay United Church, Colpoy's Bay, Albemarle Township, Bruce County

Amabel Township
Wiarton, Amabel Township, Bruce County

Arran Township
Christ Church Anglican Cemetery Record, Tara, Arran Township, Bruce County

Brant Township
Walkerton town clock, Walkerton, Brant Township, Bruce County

Bruce Township
Underwood United Church, Underwood, Bruce Township, Bruce County

Carrick Township
Mildmay church, Mildmay, Carrick Township, Bruce County

Culross Township
Salem United Church, Culross Township, Bruce County

Eastnor Township
Barrow Bay, Eastnor Township, Bruce County

Elderslie Township
Memorial plaque, hamlet of Williscroft, Elderslie Township, Bruce County

Greenock Township
Plaque, village of Pinkerton, Greenock Township, Bruce County

Huron Township
Huron Township Hall, Ripley, Huron Township, Bruce County

Kincardine Township
Mural, village of Tiverton, Kincardine Township, Bruce County

Kinloss Township

Lindsay Township
War Memorial, Lindsay Township, Bruce County

Saugeen Township
Dunblane Presbyterian Church, Saugeen Township, Bruce County

St. Edmunds Township

Lighthouse, Tobermory, St. Edmunds Township, Bruce County
Bruce County Genealogical Society
PO Box 1083, Port Elgin, Ontario, Canada N0H 2C0
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