The Pakenham Fire of June 1939 –Names Names Names

The Pakenham Fire of June 1939 –Names Names Names


Marilyn Snedden via  the collection of Margie Argue and her late brother Dan Paige


In June 20 of 1939 several people were endangered and three building destroyed when fire broke out in the butcher shop of G. L. Hawkins, on Graham street, at 3 30 o’clock that morning, and for a while threatening the centre part of the village.

The total loss of buildings and contents was estimated as $7,000 Mrs. Albert H. Steen, owner of a double house adjoining the shop; her daughter. Mrss Mary Steen: Mr. and Mrs William McDonald and their daughter. Miss Pearl McDonald, all occupants of the  Steen house, escaped from the burning building with only a few pieces of clothing and furniture. No one was injured.

The origin of the fire is not known, but it is believed to have started in the rear of the butcher shop, spreading to the brick veneer home of Mr. Hawkins and to the frame, clapboarded double house owned by Mrs. Steen both adjoining the shop.

The loss of the store and its contents is about $2,000. the brick house and contents $3,000. and the Steen home $2,000. Insurance partially covers the losses. The fire spreading from the shop, first entered the section of the double house occupied by the J. McDonald family. Awakened by the smoke, they had just enough time to grasp some clothing and  escape from the upper storey.

A  few pieces of the downstairs furniture was removed before the flames made further salvaging impossible. Mrs. Steen and her daughter, Miss Steen who is a graduate of the Ottawa Civic Hospital, also had little time to rescue clothing or furniture. The Pakenham fire brigade was called but, consisting only of a  pump and water tank, was not effective. The Almonte brigade responded to a rail for help, but their arrival was too late to be of any use except to prevent the flames from spreading further. Fire Chief Harry Houston of Almonte was in charge of the brigade, which soon exhausted the water supply in a well, and other supply was too far distant to be of use.



Marilyn Snedden via  the collection of Margie Argue and her late brother Dan Paige






Clipped from

  1. Ottawa Daily Citizen,
  2. 21 Jul 1880, Wed,
  3. Page 1
    1.  -  1939


      Mayne Store–Memories of the Pakenham Fire 1940

      1. The Pakenham Fire of 1940

      2. July 8, 1940 Fire at the Mayne Store Pakenham

      3. Dickson Hall Fire Pakenham-H. H. Dickson

      4. Fire at Pakenham Woollen Factory with Town Directory

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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