Attempt To Burn Hotel Failed


By dhowell - Posted on 03 January 2008

On Nov. 27, 1911, an elaborate attempt to burn the Manchester House, presumably for the insurance was made but failed because a passerby saw the flames and gave an alarm. The proprietor, by the name of Lewis, was suspected of being the incendiary.

On each of the three floors of the hotel one room was selected and the windows heavily blanketed. Rags saturated with kerosene were stuffed in holes knocked in the walls and lighted candles were placed close to the rags. Lewis left on the 10 o'clock train.

Sometime later Frank Koebbe, passing by, saw a gleam of fire in a third story window. The fire department was summoned and little damage was done.

Very little was known about Lewis who had recently bought the business from Johnson. Three girls were staying in the hotel when the fire was discovered but they had heard nothing. Lewis was caught in Toledo. The hotel caught fire under circumstances which were questionable early in the summer. The building was owned by a man in New York State by the name of Beagle and it was insured for
$15,000.