Sunday, October 11, 2009

Great Rehoboth 1912 Fire

This news items is reprinted from the Delaware Pilot newspaper printed in Lewes on November 22 , 1912

On last Saturday night , fire was discovered at the
Cooper cottage on Surf Avenue. The Rehoboth Fire Department was prompt to arrive but for half an hour it was impossible to obtain water other that what was in the engines which lasted only about ten minutes and was not enough to extinguish the flames. The brisk north west wind blowing flames soon caught the Pennington cottage afire on Surf Avenue. About the same time the large double cottage of Horsey and Wolfe were on fire also. While a line of water buckets were kept coming from the force pump at Hill's bath houses a block away it was impossible to save these cottages or the stables of Dr. Wolfe on Olive Avenue. The Cannon cottage on Maryland Avenue was also destroyed. The fire was stopped at a vacant lot between the Cannon cottage ad the Judge Handy cottage on Maryland Avenue about ten o'clock. The Lewes Fire Department arrived just a little too late to be of much assistance due to the railroad being unable to move its train in time to allow the Lewes engine to arrive. To Dr. Walter Robinson belongs the credit for bringing the Lewes Engine as he towed it here and back using his own automobile. The origin of the fire has not been determined. Some cry "fire bug"" but those who carefully sized up the situation think it was some of the younger boys of this town who have been in the habit of playing 'hide and seek' behind these cottages where cigarette stumps and half burned matches are found scattered on the porch floors. The losses by the Saturday night fire were as follows; Harvey L Coopers cottage and nearly all it's contents $2000 with $1500 covered by insurance ; Mrs Lydia Pennington's cottage and content of one bedroom was $2200 and insured for $1500; Harry P. Cannon's cottage $1200, insured for $600; and furniture saved. The Horsey and Wolfe cottage, $3000, insured for $1500, furniture saved; the Stable of Dr. Wolfe $600 with no insurance. . Loss estimates by some of the city dailies correspondent ran as high as $30,000. We wish we could access the property as they had it rated. A call is out to improve the town water supply and have a water system installed. After the fire the V. I. A. ladies served hot coffee and sandwiches at the home of Mr. and Mrs. William J. Ruddell on Baltimore Avenue, while another very prominent citizen of the town furnished some left over Republican Campaign whiskey and to the everlasting disgrace of the town, some of our young men were so drunk they had to have assistance to reach their homes and while we thank the Lewes Fire Department for their assistance we beg to apologies to the citizens of Lewes for returning their young men in such intoxicated conditions.

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