The Almonte Fire– Bridge and Water Street 1903



Almonte Fire Company

Related Reading

The Almonte Fire of 1909


The -Willoughby—Illingsworth Brick Block in Ruins. –

Almonte has been very free from fires for some time, and it was a matter of congratulations at last meeting of council when the report of Capt. Young ol the fire brigade, was read, showing that not a single fire had occurred during the year. But now where on Tuesday evening stood the brick block of Messrs; Willoughby, Drynan and Illingworth, at the corner of Bridge and Water streets. Nothing remains but a dismal, blackened heap of ruins.

The fire was discovered about three o’clock on Wednesday morning in the back store of Mr. Geo. Illingworth’s grocery, Mrs.Illingworth being the first to notice the blaze. The alarm was at once given and help was soon on the spot and in a short time the: fire was thought to have been extinguished, and many who had gathered’ on the scene returned to their homes.

The fire, however, seems to have reached the attic of the adjoining building, owned by Mr. J. Drynan, and occupied by Mr. P. Downey as a confectionery and dwelling, and from that it communicated with Mr. W. Willoughby’s building on the corner, and there the family were aware of its proximity when the fire had broken through the ceiling. They were compelled to quit the house with little more than the clothing on their backs, Mr. Willoughby himself being almost overcome by the smoke before he could reach. the open air.  Mr. Illingworth’s family were also driven forth in equally as hasty a manner, with little time to save anything.

No date–land across the river occupying buildings before town hall was built–


The firemen worked heroically, but with the fire underneath the iron roof it was a most difficult problem to handle, and it was impossible to save the buildings, and so quickly did the smoke and flame envelope the whole structure that there was no chance to remove the contents even on the ground floors.

Mr. Downey was fortunate in getting out the most of his belongings, but Mr. W. J. McDowall, who had removed from the building only a few weeks ago, lost considerable stuff he had stored in the back premises.


View from St Pauls towards town hall c 1905–


The three buildings are a total loss, and both Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Willoughby are heavy losers in stock. Mr. Illingworth placed his total loss at about $11,000, with insurance
amounting to $2,600. Hr. Willoughby estimates his loss at $5,000 with $2,000 insurance. Mr. j Drynan had $1,300 insurance on his building, and will not be such a heavy loser
as the others. The loss to Messrs Illingworth and Willoughby is a serious one, and much sympathy is felt for them by their fellow citizens.

Mr. Willoughby has already been endeavouring to get another store in which to open up again, but so far he has been unable to procure one. Business stands are scarce and not easily obtainable at present.


Related Reading

The Almonte Fire of 1909





In Loving Memory of

George Illingworth, June 26, 1850 – June 20, 1927.

His wife, Nancy Berryman, Dec 3, 1844 – Nov 16, 1924.

Buy Linda Secaspina’s Books— Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac– Tilting the Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place and 4 others on Amazon or Amazon Canada or Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street in Carleton Place


About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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