The Almonte Fire– Bridge and Water Street 1909



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

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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