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Historic EVENTS in and around Welland


Frazer House, White’s Livery Stables and Jamieson’s Shop Burned


Good Work done by the Fire Department

Loss About $9,300.



             On Friday last, at about 11:15 p.m., flames were seen to issue from the rear of White Bros’ livery stable. The alarm was given immediately, and the hour being comparatively early, there were soon plenty of men and women too, on the scene and working with a will to save all that possibly could be saved, but like


people, their work was ill-directed at times. All the horses and carriages were got out of the first floor of White’s livery stables-his heaviest loss being the contents of the upper floor. The Frazer House, being in the direction of the wind, the slight delay in getting the fire engines at work, and the obstruction offered to the stream of water by the wooden battlement surrounding the slates of the roof, was doomed, and here the work of moving, went bravely on.

One man


out of the window, which of course was smashed to pieces on the veranda. He next appeared at the window with a wash bowl and pitcher when he was collared by some person from behind, and his


came to and end,-but it still feared that he got out of the burning building alive, and will then live to “run” another fire.

When the engine got fairly at work it soon had a powerful effect on the fire, but the livery stable and the barber shop were of such light and combustible material, and having been built close against the Frazer House, and the wind blowing up hard at the time, it was almost impossible to save the latter building-and more especially as attention had to be paid to the spread of the fire in the opposite direction, and despite the most strenuous exertions of the firemen, a portion of the burned roof fell in and soon the whole interior, up stairs was


The branchmen then directed the stream of the hose into the windows, doing some brave and dangerous work inside, while the roof was all ablaze. At about 2 a.m. the fire was pretty much extinguished with Whites’s livery stables and finishing room (for carriage work) and Jamieson’s barber shop a heap of ashes; and the Frazer House gutted, but the walls and lower part of the building still stand. Mrs. Gibson’s store was cleaned out but the building not burned. Mr. Appleyard’s tin store and the Misses Lambert, milliners, and others also suffer some loss from moving.


is the subject of different opinions. Some think that it must have been caused deliberately or purposely by some one in or in the rear of White’s stable, but Mr. White is positive it was caused by sparks from Jamieson’s chimney blowing into his stable. As a matter of fact the wind on that night blew strongly from the direction of White’s towards Jamieson’s but Mr. White explains how this might be and by saying that the latter premises being next to and lower than the Frazer House, the wind eddied here, causing a return current that would carry the sparks as he claims that they were carried. There is no possibility that the cause will ever positively be known.


Messrs. White Bros., carriage makers and livery stable, are the heaviest losers and unfortunately they had no insurance. The building was used as a livery stable, with store shed in the rear and finishing and paint room up stairs. The horses and vehicles in use were mostly got out of the livery stable, but the contents of the shed and second floor were totally destroyed, comprising 9 sleighs, 5 buggies, harness (including a new $85 set of back harnesses), robes, blankets, lumber, leather for carriage trimming, trimming and painting tools, parts of carriage works, a manufacturing rowing machine, oats, hay &c. A cow in the shed became frightened, could not get out and was also lost. They estimate their loss at between $3000 and $3,500. Their workshop and blacksmith shop, situate some distance in the rear of the livery stable were not burned.


Mr. T.F. Brown, the lessee of the Frazer House, estimates his loss at $2,500 comprised in destruction and damage by fire, water and removal of hotel furniture, fittings, billiard tables insured for $450 in the Canada Fire & Marine Co., and the other property for $1000 in the Royal Canadian. The representatives of the companies interested were promptly on hand and satisfactorily adjusted and settled the claims, paying proportionately as the amount of the insurance was to the total value of the property insured.


The Frazer House building was situated immediately west of the Court House and owned by Louisa and Matilda T.J. Brown, daughter and widow of the late D. P. Brown, Esq., at Crowland. The building was a large square brick one with a peculiarly shaped roof, raised in the centre with a wooden battlement around the front and side, which, with the sign, presented a barrier to the stream from the engine and afforded a nest for the fire. In fact the whole roof was little better than a tinder box-had it been otherwise, the building would have been saved. The roof was burned off and the second story run through by fire, the first story, though not much burned was drenched by water and covered with the debris from above. The walls lean badly, but the building is a total wreck and a total loss. Also, the building known as Jamieson’s barber shop, upon which there was no insurance. Loss about $200.


lost most of their household furniture, probably about $100 worth. No insurance.


Lost full $250 by the removal of her household goods and grocery stock, nearly all of which were more or less damaged, broken up or mixed together. No insurance. Among other things she lost $10 worth of cigars.


Dressmaker, occupying the upstairs of the building, went to Mrs. Gibson’s; she allowed her things to be moved on the street, sustaining some little loss.


Who keeps the shop next to Mrs. Gibson’s; also forbid his goods removed, and thus saved himself from material loss.


The losses may be recapitulated as follows:

White Bros.                               2250                             

Brown Bros.                              3000

L & M.T.J. Brown                     3000                

Mrs. Forrester                              200

A. Jamieson                                 300

Mrs. Gibson                                 250

Total                                          9300


In Orient Hall the assembly were holding a social party and enjoying themselves hugely. The “lancers” had just placed on the floor, the orchestra had given an introductory bar, all were ready for their best bow when–“Fire” Tableau for an instant with a flash of red fire from the street, the lancers charged into a gallop and in a few seconds more could be see stand-ups and white ties struggling along with a muddy buggy or a hot coal stove.



It took about a bunch of matches to light the fire in the engine. The matches were excited and would break in two and go out.


who had been acting as branchman, and working hard generally, fell in a fainting fit in front of the Mansion House. Medical assistance was called, but it was nearly an hour before he regained consciousness.


worked nobly and under adverse circumstances . The representatives of the Royal Canadian and Canadian Fire & Marine Companies who were in town on Monday adjusting the losses, give the fire department the highest praise, expressing surprise that the fire was stayed where it was, considering the proximity of the other buildings, the high wind prevailing at the time, and the absence of proper “hooks”. Many eager citizens, not firemen, exhorted themselves most credibly and effectively.


Since the above report was written, we learn that a representative of the Royal Ins. Co.  has had the damage of the building appraised, damages being fixed at $1675 for which the company say the building will be repaired. We would assume that the parties interested will scarcely accept the offer. The building is not generally considered worth repairing.

Welland Tribune

8 November 1878

Fire: 1November 1878



             THE FRAZER HOUSE-We learn that the proprietor of this building refuses to accept the insurance company’s offer of $1075 for damages done by the recent fire. A suit will probably ensue.

Welland Tribune

15 November 1878