Fire at Thom and McNab’s 1903




Old Boys Reunion Mill street- Photo from


Almonte Gazette-January 2 1903

For the first time in many months the stillness was broken early Tuesday morning by the alarming clang of the fire bell. The alarm was given by Mr. P. Guthrie, who when going home from night work noticed smoke coming out of the building occupied by Messrs. Thom & McNab dry goods store.

The engine was quickly on hand with a good head of steam ready, but the great difficulty was in discovering where the fire was, as the store could not be entered on account of the dense smoke and no blaze could be seen. Finally about half-past seven when some of the smoke had been drawn off through an upper window, the firemen managed to get into the cellar and from there directed a stream upwards onto the blaze which was quickly extinguished.

It is supposed that the fire originated from the furnace. As wood is used for fuel and the fire in the furnace would have burned out about 12 o’clock, the spark which started the conflagration must have been smouldering during the night. The fire did not spread rapidly on account of there being: no draft, but bursting up through the floor it burnt through the counter and shelving; and had almost made its way through the ceiling before it was subdued.

The heat and smoke in the building are responsible for most of the damage to the stock as the firemen were very careful in their distribution of the water. No estimate of the damage can he formed as yet but the stock is practically ruined, and was valued at $11,000. The insurance for the stock, was $7,000, divided among three companies, the Phoenix, the Insurance Company of North America and the Law Union and Crown. The loss for the building which is owned by Mr. T. R. White will amount to about two hundred dollars.


Author’s Note: Two hundred dollars?



The Almonte Fire– Bridge and Water Street 1903

The Almonte Fire of 1909

People from the Potter-Bennett Block Fire– A Shocking Find


Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News and now in The Townships Sun

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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