Tag Archives: pakenham fire

Mayne Store–Memories of the Pakenham Fire 1940




Pakenham Fire Destroyed Heirlooms  Perth Courier 1940


L. A. Mayne lost many valued heirlooms Monday morning, when the old Mayne store was burned to the ground in the big fire here.Just how the fire started is at present a mystery, except that it broke out in the upper portion of Mr. Mayne’s store, used for the most part as a store-room. Mr. Mayne declares there was no one about the premises at the time, no matches were kept there, yet when William Jordan drove into the village shortly before midnight he noticed the fire, which had then gained considerable headway in the upper premises. Among the articles of furniture lost was a table brought to this country by the wife of the late Dr. Mann, who in 1820 built the little Scottish “Auld Kirk”, whose ruins still stand on the high promontory that overlooks the Mississippi.

Another valued piece of furniture was an heirloom brought from Edinburgh about 125 years ago by the widow of Andrew Dickson, whose name runs like a thread through all the story of Pakenham’s history. The old store, built upward of a century ago, was used as a guard house when the Pakenham Fitzroy volunteers organized a company to suppress the risings in 1866-67, Mr. Mayne, on whose premises the blaze broke out, is convinced that it originated outside and not inside the premises. He was on the rear verandah of his residence next door to the shop when his attention was directed to a small streak of flame running upward on the outside corner of an old and unused bakery at the rear of the store.

The building was of frame, and dry, and before he could procure water or assistance the whole place was in flames. Many insurance inspectors and adjusters have mingled with the large throng of people who have come from far and near to witness a scene of desolation, but up to the present there has not been any official investigation. Things are beginning to assume their usual tempo. Postmaster Smith has his office in William Belford’s home, and Preston Burgess, manager of the telephone exchange, is installed temporarily in Gordon’s drug store.


 Keith Thompson, Clayton, Ontario – 26 February, 2002


The Pakenham Fire of 1940


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