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Fire, Flood Visited Village Same Day


By dhowell - Posted on 02 January 2008

It was on a Tuesday morning in May, 1908, when Dr. C. Kapp turned in the fire alarm after he discovered the wooden building on the corner of Railroad street and Maiden Lane on fire. The one o'clock fire caused people to tumble out of bed as the fire bell clanged. Chemical and hand engines were soon at work but the fire raged out of control so firemen concentrated their efforts on saving Dr. Kapp's building, occupied by the Putnam's harness shop and other nearby structures.

Lee Conklin's broom factory was in one of the buildings and his tools and some stock were burned.

There had been a prodigious rain the first part of the evening and shingles and roofs of all buildings were soaked with water. There was no wind and this helped as citizens kept a sharp lookout to prevent the fire from spreading.

At about 4 a.m. there was great excitement as those who watched the burning embers were informed that Lonier & Hoffer's temporary dam had sprung a leak and was threatened with disaster. The heavy rains had caused high water and men and teams hustled to haul stones and gravel to stop the widening aperture at the west end of the dam.

As the crowd on the bridge watched the surging water carried away the new apron about 8 a.m. and everyone thought the dam was doomed. A temporary sluiceway was made at the lower end of the flume by nightfall. This relieved the pressure and was credited with saving the dam.