The entire business portion of the town, as already stated, was totally destroyed on Saturday night, Aug. 11th. Twenty-six stores, thirty-two dwellings, two stables, and twelve barns and smaller buildings were burned. Desolation is abroad in the streets. Some of the sufferers have lost all; others have an inconsiderable insurance. The majority had not their property insured for more than half the nominal value. The heaviest losses perhaps fall upon the Quincy Mutual Fire Insurance Co.
The Mansion House will probably be rebuilt.
L. T. Norton has another livery stable underway.
It is reported that Luce Bros. will rebuild on their old site.
Mr. F. H. Jenkins talks of building a new store on Franklin street.
No facilities for extinguishing fire. Shall we ever have them?
Nothing which can move on wheels but has passed through town since the fire.
The house occupied by Dr. W. D. Stewart caught fire three times on Saturday night.
Never did so many people visit the usually quiet village of Vineyard Haven as during and since the fire.
Mrs. Mary T. Crocker has opened her boarding house at Beach Side, until she can rebuild. Her loss was severe.
Mr. J. P. Bodfish was overcome with the heat and over-exertion soon after the fire began; but was kindly cared for and has recovered.
Many of the village people “never lost their heads,” and fought like veteran soldiers; but it was - as is always the case - so unexpected.
There is a feeling of hopefulness among our business men. Not a few are already making arrangements for rebuilding.
Those relic hunters must have taken a grim delight in carrying off anything found among the ruins which did not belong to them.
Our people desire to extend many thanks to the members of the Cottage City fire department and to the police force of that place who so kindly lent us their aid in the hour of our peril.
Mr. J. H. Lambert has purchased the house formerly the residence of the late Thomas Bradley, and will take up his residence there.
Another alarm of fire was rung on Monday afternoon, when the residence of Capt. W. G. Hammond took fire from a defective flue, but was soon extinguished. Great excitement prevailed at the time.
The bell in the Baptist church rang out its own requiem. How we mourned when it was said “The church is afire!” Twice the bell struck as it fell through the air.
Charles A. Luce, Esq., was unable to scarce an article of clothing or furniture, his wife being ill at the time the broke out, and his time was occupied in conveying her to a place of safety.
The agents of the insurance companies have been in town adjusting the losses sustained. Most of the insurance was effected through the local agency of Mr. Henry H. Smith.
Our people who were so fortunate as not to be burned out of house and home have been very hospitable and thrown open their doors to those who needed shelter, and many acts of kindness have been rendered which will long be remembered by those who were in need of assistance.
Strange to say, many of those who came into town on the night of the fire, stood looking on, and did not render any assistance. It is but fair to remark, however, that others worked very hard and lent a helping hand wherever they could. Many women worked with the energy and endurance of the “sterner sex” till completely exhausted.
The relief committee, assisted by sub-committees, are doing a noble work, providing for the destitute and homeless. And those who have so generously contributed of their means to the relief of the sufferers can assure themselves that the money given was never more thankfully received.
Dr. C. F. Lane has purchased the lot, corner Main and Wharf streets, where the residence of Dr. Moses Brown stood, and intends to build thereon at an early date. R. W. Crocker has bought the lot next north of where his factory stood of Mr. F. H. Jenkins, and will rebuild his factory immediately. He has already had a small building raised and boarded near the water front for a tenement, we understand.
It was remarked soon after the fire that Vineyard Haven would never be rebuilt, but the “sound of the hammer” indicates the march of improvement already inaugurated. Several lots have already been sold, new buildings will soon tower above the ruins - but doubtless it must take time for the entire burned district to be rebuilt, and many people must suffer greatly by the dire calamity.
Where some of our business men were burnt out are temporarily located: W. Crocker at Mr. B. Crowell’s residence, F. P. Norton at David Smith’s residence, E. H. Manter at Mrs. M. C. Manter’s, Warren Luce at Capawock Hall, S, C. Luce at his store on Wharf street, C. L. Marks, expressman, at Capt. Oliver’s store, J. F. Robinson at B. D. Crowell’s store.
The post office is at the store of F. H. Johnson on Wharf street. It was for a short time at the house of selectman Allen.
A hot fight was maintained for two hours to save the residence of Mrs. Elnora D. Luce, next to Jenkin’s paint shop, which was full of combustible materials. The house of Capt. Edward Harding narrowly escaped the conflagration - as it caught on fire several times. Mr. William Smith’s residence, just west of Mrs. M. T. Crocker’s boarding house (which was among the first burned) had a narrow escape from destruction, and had it burned it is probable the fire would have extended to the M. E. church, and then who knows where it would have ended? Mr. S. G. Bradley’s house and store and many other buildings were just barely saved.
Cottage City, resident and non-resident, has contributed generously to the relief of the Vineyard Haven people - and perhaps it is not to be marvelled at. Both the dictates of humanity and the promptings of common gratitude would natuarlly tend to produce the result.
Subscriptions to the fund for the relief of the Vineyard Haven sufferers have come in from all quarters - notably one of $1000 from S. W. Carey of New York - until the aggregate amounts to nearly $5000.
The reports of the acreage of the Vineyard Haven fire appear to have been considerably exaggerated. The amount of ground burned over, however, is perhaps hardly material.


Losses and Insurances

The following items of loss and insurance were not published in Monday’s issue:
Benjamin Merry, dwelling and furniture, loss $2000; insurance on dwelling, $600
Benj. Dexter, ice cream and museum, loss $600; no insurance.
Wm. Cleveland, dwelling and furniture, loss $3000; not insured.
Gilbert Brush, dwelling and contents, loss $1200; insured.
Barnard Luce, tenement, loss $1200; insured in the Merchants and Farmers’ $800; Sawyer B. Swain, tenant, loss $400; James H. Vincent, tenant, loss $300; store on Main street, loss $3000; insured in the Merchants and Farmers’, $1100, Fitchburg Mutual, $1000.
Martha’s Vineyard Lodge of Masons, loss $500; insured in the Dorchester, $300.
Ladies’ Library League, loss $500; insured in the Dorchester $350.
W. H. Hammond, dwelling, loss $500; insured in the Hartford, $300; loss on furniture #350, loss on barber shop and fixtures $300, no insurance.
J. P. White, dwelling and tin shop, loss on stock $300, building owned by T. N. Hillman, loss $500, no insurance,
Samuel C. Luce, jeweler, loss on stock and tools $250, loss on building owned by T. N. Hillman, $350, no insurance.
T. Luce, vacant store, loss $350, not insured.
Lorenzo Smith, unfinished store and dwelling, loss $1200, insurance $1000.
John F. Robinson, grocer, loss $2200, insured for $1500 in the Quincy.
Dr. C. E. Bolles, loss $600, no insurance, loss on building, owned by Lorenzo Smith, $1200, insured in the Merchants and Farmers’ for $700.
Hatch & Co.’s express office, owned by J. H. Lambert, loss on building $1000, no insurance.
Capt. F. St, Croix Oliver, funiture, loss $400, no insurance, loss on building, owned by J. H. Lambert, $1500, no insurance.
Capt. G. L. Daggett, dwelling, loss, $200, no insurance.
Mrs. Laura Robinson, partial loss, insured in the Hanover $2000.
Mrs. E. D. Luce, partial loss, insured $600.
Chas. Bradley, stable, loss 300, no insurance.
Michael Conroy, dwelling owned by Dr. Wm. Leach; loss on furniture, $300; on building, $1500; no insurance.
James M. Taber, loss on store and stock, $1100; insured in the Merchants and Farmers’, $800.
Dr. Winthrop Butler, loss on drugs and medicines, $500; no insurance; the store was owned by Eliza E. Cleveland and others; loss $400; no insurance.
W. W. Harper, market, loss on stock, $300; no insurance; loss on building owned by Dr. M. Brown, $800; no insurance.
Mrs. Margaret Luce, dwelling, loss on furniture, $500; no insurance; loss on building owned by Miss M. E. Smith, $1200; insured in the Quincy $500.
Dwellings occupied by Mrs. Hannah Wheeler and Mrs. P. Davenport, loss on furniture, each, $200; building owned by Mrs. Look, loss $500; no insurance.
Estate of Matthew P. Butler, dwelling, loss, $1000; insured. Quincy, $600.
Capt. Henry Dexter, residence, owned by Mrs. Julia Worth, lost on contents $300; no insurance. Loss on building $1200; no insurance.
Mrs. Mary A. Daggett, partial loss; damage, $150.
W. W. Douglas, house furnishings and hardware; stock, loss, $1500, insured in the Holyoke $1000, loss on the store, owned by Mrs. Dr. Sparrow, $800, insured.
M. A. Chadwick, dwelling, loss on furniture $500, no insurance, building owned by Mrs. Peggy Skiff of Farmington, Cal., loss, $1000, partially insured.
Calvin Tilton, workshop, owned by estate of Charles Smith, loss on building, $100, Tilton’s loss $100.
Trask house, owner not known, occupied by Peter Manter, loss on building $1000, on contents, $250, no insurance.
Mrs. Cynthia Chase, dwelling, loss $800, no insurance.
Mrs. Alice Merry, dwelling, loss $1200, no insurance. Miss Jane L West, tenement, loss $150, no insurance.