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Otsego Herald

March 20, 2014

A fire in Cooperstown

From the Otsego Herald

for Saturday, March 19, 1814

Compiled, with comments

by HUGH C. MacDOUGALL

“Fire”

On Thursday morning last, between the hours of 3 and 4 o’clock, our citizens were aroused from their slumbers by the alarming cry of fire, which proved to be in the building occupied by Mr. Joseph Wilkinson as a store and dwelling. The fire caught in a part of the building occupied by Taylor and Graves as a Taylor’s and Barber’s shop, and had made such progress before the alarm became general, that it was impossible to save the building.

The end of Messrs. Cook and Crafts store, which stood within about 10 feet east, was several times on fire, but by the prompt exertions of the citizens in hastening supplies of water, and the well directed application of it through the fire engine, united with the calmness of the weather, its desolating progress was arrested, and the whole range of buildings east to the corner saved from impending destruction.

The shutters and windows in Col. Stranahan’s brick house, facing the fire, were burnt out;—this building formed a barrier to the progress of the fire westward.

The principal part of Mr. Wilkinson’s dry-goods, his books, papers, and a part of his furniture were saved —he was himself absent on business to Albany. We understand his goods were insured. Messrs. Taylor and Graves saved nothing from their shop — the loss of their books and papers, by deranging their accounts, adds much to their misfortune.

The ladies of the village deserve much praise for the promptitude and alacrity with which they volunteered their aid to the general exertions. They joined the ranks at an early hour, and continued during the whole time of danger to render every assistance in their power; in fine [in short], all seemed to exert themselves to the greatest possible advantage, and little or no disorder prevailed.

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