Welland History .ca

Historic EVENTS in and around Welland


[Welland Tribune, 25 May 1888]

MR. JOHN SHANNAHAN is starting a new grocery store in the building formerly occupied by the late Mrs. Emma Price.

WELLAND WATER WORKS- The time for receiving tenders for excavating and masonry at pump house has been extended to Monday evening next, May 28th at same hour.

THE Salvation Army have been negotiating for the purchase of the old Methodist church on East Main street, but as yet their headquarters have not furnished the funds for the purchase. Unless the building is soon sold it is the proprietor’s intention to cut it in two, and make two dwellings.

SOLD OUT- Mr. Robert Moore has sold out his furniture, tenancy and good will of the Windsor House, to Mr. John R. Dowd, who will take possession next Tuesday. Mr. Moore returns to Amigari. In his departure, Welland loses a good citizen, a good landlord, and a good fellow generally. Mr. Dowd will make a popular landlord.

LANDLORD RAMEY is to be congratulated on the extensive improvements being made to the Welland House. New and modern windows have replaced the old ones on the Main street front, the platform has been removed and the sidewalk lowered, and when the painter finishes his work the Welland House will rate A 1.

Marriage must be a good thing for those who have tried it once are almost sure to try it again and as often as the opportunity occurs. Widowers and widows are far likelier to wed again than those who have never tasted wedded bliss. As an illustration we have this week the wedding of Mr. Ambrose Ellsworth and Mrs. Alex Doan, as elsewhere noted. With such examples, poor old bachelors  and maids need shrink no longer from Hymen’s bonds but boldly make the blissful plunge.

The Queen’s Hotel and Other Buildings Burned



Narrow Escape of Orient Hall and Other Large Buildings

             On Wednesday morning at 6.25 o’clock the town tocsin sounded the alarm of fire. A glance showed the scene of conflagration to be the Queen’s hotel, a large three-storey frame building on the south side of East Main street, owned and occupied by Mr. Wm. Early, and in a most


            Our town bell is so low toned that its cadences are more apt to put one asleep than arouse attention, but nevertheless alert firemen and others speedily rallied, but some precious minutes’ delay was occasioned by cutting a hole through the ice to get water. The hotel, from the nature of its material and construction


beyond hope the moment the flames got headway. To the east of it was Whalley’s clothing establishment, a two-storey brick block, with a frame addition to the rear. East of Whalley’s is the Dexter House, three-storey brick. West of the burned hotel first stood Sauter’s furniture shop, then an unoccupied shop owned by Mr. Lock, both frame buildings, and west of them Lock’s brick store and Orient block. But the most dangerous position was in the rear, where 20 feet from the hotel stands its barn, a fine large new frame building, but fortunately lined with sheet iron plates. Eastward of the barn were the Dexter House and Mansion House barns; and westward were Sauter’s sheds, planing mill &c., all close together. The fire, therefore, was in the centre of a space almost crowded with highly inflammable structures. Happily it was almost a dead calm at the time and the roofs were covered with snow. It is only due to these conditions, coupled with the untiring exertions of the firemen and others, that a


was avoided. About half-an-hour after the fire started things looked blue metaphorically, but literally


There had been a delay in getting at the water. Upon starting, one section of hose gave way, and had to be replaced. The fire by this time had obtained such headway and the buildings were so inflammable that the water thrown on the flames made but little impression at first. The Queen’s was one mass of seething flames, a veritable furnace. Sauter’s shop was on fire. The addition to the rear of Whalley’s was burning, and the roof of Whalley’s brick and the Dexter House were both on fire. The blaze of the burning hotel was so great that it forbad close approach and scattered cinders quarter of a mile around, although there was no perceptible wind. The roof of Orient block, which we were surprised to learn is of shingles, was covered with coals, only the


saving the building, its height and the position and slant of the roof rendering it impossible to fight the fire had it once got a foothold there. The buildings on the north side of Main street were also in danger. This was the situation at its worst, and black enough it was. But soon the tremendous amount of water thrown by the two steady streams on the fires began to take effect. The engine never made a skip. One of the branches was taken to the rear, succeeding after a terribly


in saving the barn. But so great was the heat that the glass in the barn window broke out, and Capt. Anger informs us that the solder melted and one sheet of the iron dropped off. But with men in the barn with pails and the hose playing on its front and roof, the barn was saved, and the terrible consequences of its destruction avoided. The other branch of hose was directed to preventing the fire spreading westward, and to keeping down the blaze of the hotel. What little wind there was, however, blew toward the west, and Sauter’s shop was literally


of the large hotel alongside. The hotel and Sauter’s were completely destroyed. The next building westward, Lock’s unoccupied shop, caught fire and partly torn down and partly burned, is an almost worthless wreck. The fire, however, was stopped here in this direction. Owing to the greater necessity for the services of the firemen elsewhere, the brick building occupied by Whalley and the Dexter, were left to fight the flames comparatively unaided and noble was the work done by those interested and other volunteer assistants. The cornice of the Dexter was burned off, but the flames were stopped there by smothering out the fire with wet blankets. Whalley had a hotter place, with the burning hotel at one side and the burning frame addition to the rear. But the little brick stood the siege well. Its cornice was also burned off, and fire got under the felt of the roof, taking some hours to chop it out and extinguish it, but it was finally done. Happily Mr. Whalley’s store goods were not removed and escaped injury.


Mr. Early’s hotel was mainly heated by a furnace in the cellar; but there was a small box stove in the bar, used part of the time. It was the custom to make a fire in the mornings to warm up, and dry the floor after scrubbing. Mr. Early, who sleeps in the room above, woke up, and noticed that a very hot fire had been made on the drum, being red with the heat. He was about to call below to close the draft of the stove when he heard that done. This was about six o’clock. He then went to sleep and was wakened a few minutes later nearly choked by the smoke. He ran down, got a pail of water, and came back with it, but although the rooms were full of smoke, and the fire could be heard crackling, it could not be seen or got at. A moment later and the flames broke out at the rear of the house, and in a few moments more the whole house was in flames. The fire evidently traveled rapidly along between the joist, which lay north and south, kept from breaking into the rooms by the flooring and carpets, until it reached the back of the house, when it broke out through the weatherboards. Another minute and the fire followed the smoke up through the floors. The room at rear and directly over the line of fire was occupied by Mr. Hanning, agent for Massey Mfg. Co., and his wife, who had not yet risen from bed. They were nearly suffocated by the smoke, and forced by the leaping flames to jump from bed and run into the Dexter house for refuge. They lost everything but their night clothing.


Mr. Early’s hotel was mostly new, haying been added to until the original structure formed a small part of the premises. Everything was in A 1 condition. Mr. Early, who was a very tasty man, was always and fixing up. His latest improvement last fall was to make a cellar under the house and put in a furnace for heating purposes. The amount of his goods saved from the fire was but trifling. His loss is about $5,000. Insured for $1,500 (in the Caledonian Co.) on building; $800 (in Citizens) on contents, and $100 on piano-which was burned.


Lost his building, a frame in good condition, insured for $500 in Citizens, and about forty coffins, and furniture material. His finished furniture was mostly got out-some of it damaged. Stock insured for $500 in the Citizens. Mr. Sauter will be a loser over the insurance.


Unoccupied store, which is now about worthless, was insured for $400 in the Northern. It was a frame building similar to Mr. Sauter’s, old but solid and serviceable.


Had his furniture partly moved out and damaged by water. The canned fruit and contents of pantry were destroyed. The contents of the tailor workshop were also destroyed. Loss unknown; perhaps $300. Partly insured.


Of Chippawa, owner of the building occupied by Mr. Whalley, will be a loser to the extent of probably $300 by the burning of the frame addition and damage to roof of brick building. No insurance.


Of the fire is the utter folly of building a mass of wooden buildings together, as this part of the town was composed. Had there been much wind and the roofs been dry, half the business part of the town would have been destroyed, and nothing we have at present could have prevented. The saving of the adjoining brick buildings, within three feet of the burned hotel, and of the plated barn in the rear, conveys a lesson that should not be disregarded. Experience, however, has shown that people will build wooden buildings anywhere and run the risk. It can only be prevented by the passage of a fire limits by-law, and unless such a measure is passed and enforced a terrible devastation by fire will come sooner or later.


Messrs. Early and Sauter intend to rebuild, and Mr. Lock will probably do so. We understand the supply of brick in town is exhausted, which is unfortunate, as the parties requiring the buildings as soon as possible, may be tempted to erect frame buildings. We hope not, however. Taking into account the saving in insurance in the course of time brick is the cheaper as well as the safer.


            One excited occupant of the Queen’s carefully surveyed his wardrobe after reaching the street, and then went to work saving what he could for others. Upon closer scrutiny and when the fire was almost extinguished, he found that one foot was bootless. It is fair to say that he was excited.

             That was a thoughtful act of those citizens who furnished hot coffee and lunch to the workers, many of whom stood firmly at their posts with but scanty clothing hurriedly donned.

             The vacant store of Mr. Lock’s, which was almost completely destroyed, would have been tenanted forty-eight hours later.

             We are informed that the weak state of the hose would not permit the engine to give the force that it is capable of giving. This should be remedied.

             If the wind and the weather had not been “just so,” Welland would have been a fearful sufferer-is what everybody says.

             Capt. Anger and the firemen are to be congratulated on the brave and effective work done. Capt. Anger’s position was all the more onerous owing to the absence from town of Mr. Alvin Beatty, chief of the fire department.

             Mr. Turner, reeve of Thorold, and a veteran fireman, congratulated Capt. Anger and Merritt Fire Co., on their successful and praiseworthy combat with the fire fiend.

             When it was found that the fire could not be got under control by our fire department, Mayor Ross telephoned to Thorold for the loan of a steamer, and our sister town was about sending to our assistance when the order was countermanded by Mayor Ross, it becoming apparent that the fire was being got under control.

             Charley Platten, a boarder at the Queen’s, who was eating his breakfast when the alarm of fire was given, made a dash for his room and succeeded in getting out his trunk and clothing, except his overcoat which got on fire before he could get it in the trunk and had to be abandoned.

             Mr. Early and his family have the most sincere sympathy of our townspeople and all, not only on their loss, but at the sudden and ruthless manner in which he and his were torn from their pleasant home at an unseasonable hour.

Welland Tribune

27 January 1888

             E.A. Sauter has begun to rebuild. The partially burned building adjoined, belonging to Mr. Lock, will be torn down and replaced with a new structure in due season.

Mr. Early has been negotiating for the purchase of the Frazer house, but no bargain for the same has been closed as yet; and of course may never be.

Welland Tribune

17 February 1888


             Mr. Sauter’s new shop is up, and will be pushed rapidly to completion by Mr. Schoemaker, who has charge of the work. The building will be covered with metallic shingles.

Welland Tribune

24 February 1888


             MR. EARLY has completed negotiations for the purchase of the Frazer House, and expects to enter into possession next month. This will settle the question of tavern licenses in this town for the present.

Welland Tribune

2 March 1888


Terrible Conflagration on Wednesday Morning


Sauter’s Furniture Warerooms and the Store adjoining also Destroyed



             Clang! clang! clang! rang out the fire bells early Wednesday morning, just about the time our good people were getting ready to get up for the labors of the day. No need to ask where the fire was, for it had gained such headway before the alarm sounded that Main street was illuminated. On hurrying to the scene of conflagration, it was found that Early’s Queen’s Hotel was one mass of flames from floor to roof. The firemen were speedily on hand, and deserve the greatest credit for the manner in which they battled with the devouring element. But the fire had too great a start for ought to be done towards saving the hotel, and their attention was given to saving the adjoining premises. In a very few minutes the frame store owned and occupied by Mr. Sauter took fire, and from there wended its way to the adjoining vacant frame building owned by Mr. Lock. Bravely the firemen worked, and nobly the citizens lent their aid, but it was of no avail to save either building. Eddie Sauter and his helpers quickly emptied the store of its contents, everyone willing to lend a helping hand, and Mr. Sauter’s goods were nearly all removed in safety. On the east side of the hotel it was discovered that the back part of Whalley’s clothing store had taken fire, and that the roof was on fire in several places. The hose at work in the rear was quickly turned on this but not before the frame part of the building was completely gutted. The fire on the roof was got under control by the pail brigade. Hoover’s Dexter House also received a scorching, the roof catching fire, but it was quickly quelched. Mr. Whalley lost considerable of his household goods, besides a quantity of ordered clothing, the workshop being situated in the frame part of the building.

             How the fire originated is a mystery, and will probably never be solved. Several of the guests were up, and breakfast had been got ready for those who went to work early. One theory is that the fire caught in the floor, where the pipe went through from the front sitting room to the parlor overhead, and this seems the most likely, as it was here the fire was first noticed. Mr. Early himself was the first to discover the fire. He was sleeping in the room where the fire was supposed to have originated, and was awakened by the smoke, being nearly smothered by it. It quickly spread to the bedrooms adjoining, and thence upward to the third floor. Several pails of water were thrown on it but it was of no use, and the inmates turned their attention to saving what they could. Several of the guests lost most of their clothing, while others were more fortunate and secured their entire outfit. Mrs. Henning escaped in her robe de nuit, and besides losing her clothing lost a quantity of jewelry. All the furniture, bedding, a valuable piano, the contents of the bar &c., were a total loss. The fire was blazing through the roof before the alarm rang out.

             Considering difficulty of getting water, having to chop through the ice to get it, we think the firemen made very good time, and when they did get there, their efforts could not be surpassed. Many were loud in their expressions that more attention should have been paid to Whalley’s store, but Captain Auger, as the sequel showed, evidently understood his business, and we think the fire was kept within as close limits as was possible, considering the inflammable material on all sides, and the barns &c., in the rear. Had it not been for the metallic shingled roof of the new barn, Mr. Early would likely have had that added to his already heavy loss.

             The heat was intense, but luckily no wind was blowing at the time, or there is no telling where the fire would have stopped.


             Mr. Earley’s loss is estimated at about $5,000 on which he had an insurance of $1,500 on the building, in the Caledonian Insurance Co., and $800 on the furniture, in the Citizens.

             Mr. Sauter’s loss in the neighborhood of $1,200, towards this he has an insurance of $700 on stock and $300 on building, in the Waterloo Mutual. Although most of his furniture was saved, he lost a number of valuable caskets, trimmings &c., besides the tools used in the workroom.

             Mr. Lock’s premises were valued at about $700, insured for $400 in the Northern.

             Mr. Hannah, of Chippawa, who owns Whalley’s store, will probably be out $350 in damage to store; no insurance.

             Mr. Whalley carried an insurance of $1,000 on his stock and $300 on furniture, which will probably make him come out even.


             The thanks of firemen and other workers are due Mr. Lock and Mr. Sauter and their families, for kindly furnishing pails of coffee and lunch, during the fire.

             The base ball club lost most of their kit. Tom McPherson took charge of it, after the recent ball, and kept it in his room. In his hurry to get out, he forgot it, and on going back for the third time was unable to enter his room owing to the heat and dense smoke. Pad, mask, bats &c., are all burned up.

             Mr. Early desires to return thanks to the firemen for their brave attempt to save his property, and to the citizens and friends for many kindnesses since extended.

Welland Telegraph

27 January 1888

Fire: 25 January 1888


Ready for Business Again

             Mr. E.A. Sauter, with his characteristic energy, is already settled in the store formerly occupied by Mr. Chambers, in Rose’s Block. An idea of work done at fire can be had by a look in on Mr. S. and seeing the immense stock of furniture he has on hand. What goods were damaged will be revarnished and will be offered for sale at reduced prices. In conversation with Mr. Sauter, he expressed his intention of rebuilding at once,-just s soon as the insurances are adjusted. Success to such men.

             Mrs. F. Humphries, of Brantford, sister of Mr. Early, arrived in town Wednesday evening, in answer to a telegram that his hotel was burned. The shock so overcame her and she has been quite ill since.

Welland Telegraph

27 January 1888