Fanning Mill Fire in Lyons

Bill Maddock found an 1861 article on the fire that destroyed the Fanning Mill shop owned by Deacon John Gilbert. Here it is transcribed as close to the original, including spelling and punctuation, as possible. The monetary amount of losses would be about $170,000 today.

“Destructive Fire- Three Buildings Burned”

On Monday Morning last, about half-past six o’clock, fire was discovered in the Fanning Mill shop owned by Deacon John Gilbert. The alarm was immediately given, as the Firemen were at work as soon as possible. The building was large wooden one, entirely filled with combustible material and the hungry flames laughed to scorn the efforts of our gallant Firemen, and communicated to two other buildings on the north, occupied by Deacon Gilbert and one south to the dwelling house of Silas Bashford, all of which were destroyed, with the exception of the furniture ware room of Mr. G..
The building in which the fire originated contained four hundred fanning mills all ready to put up-the necessary castings and screeners being also in the building-a steam engine, several setts of tools and a quantity of lumber, all of which was destroyed. Most of the contents of Dea. G’s other buildings were saved. Deacon G’s loss in Fanning mills alone is $5,200-to which must be added buildings, machinery, tools, lumber, &o, making an aggregate of at least $9,000 upon which there was no insurance.
Several of Dea. G’s workmen lost a portion of their tools-and one of them, Louis Ganthner, lost a new set of tools besides his clothing and watch which were in his sleeping room in the building. His loss is probably $150.
Mr. Bashford’s loss is estimated at $1,500, upon which there was an insurance of $600.
The origin of the fire is considered as purely accidental. It no doubt took in the engine room, as a fire had been kindled under the boiler but a short time before.

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