Destructive Fire in Mariposa- 1866  
prior to 1866 Fire

April 1, 1866 Mariposa Free Press

On Saturday evening last, at about half past 6 o'clock, a fire broke out
in the office of the "MARIPOSA FREE PRESS" and destroyed the entire
business portion of the town from 7th street, down Main and Bullion, to
the fire proof store formerly owned by Sullivan & CASHMAN. With the
exception of Ashworth's stable, at the corner of 7th and Bullion, there
was not a wooden building saved west of Bullion street. The Gazette
office escaped with a scorching. The only buildings left standing in the
burnt district are the fire-proofs of McDermott & Co., Cook & Samuels,
Wm. Cohn, Shianfelt & Arent. Nothing is known with certainty as to the
origin of the fire, though it is supposed that a drunken printer in our
employ carelessly threw a match or stump of a cigar on a pile of papers
inside. He and a boy belonging to the office, were sitting outside in
front of the office at the time the fire broke out, and made an effort to
get in but it was too hot for them.- Nothing was saved from the office.
We have not the space to give full particulars of the spread of the
flames or other incidents of the fire. It is useless speculating, after
the thing is over, about what might have been done, but it is but justice
to our fellow citizens to say that, from all we can learn, they made
every effort possible to stay the progress of the flames. At the same
time we take pleasure in recording the fact that a generous and liberal
spirit has been shown on the part of those who have something left, in
providing for the houseless and homeless. Many families have been left
destitute, but nobody is going to suffer for the necessaries of life.

The following comprises a list of the property destroyed, commencing at
the point where the fire originated:

J. H. LAWRENCE, "Free Press." $4,000
E. S. TERRY, Stable and dwelling houses 9,000
Mrs. GISCHEL, Hotel and Bakery 5,000
BOGAN & Co., Store and goods 18,000
Frankl, Goods, 2,000
J. BECKER, Butcher Shop and out building, 3,000
STAHL Brothers, Bakery 4,000
F. W. MELLO, Building and furniture 6,000
SHAINFELT & ARENTt, Out buildings and furniture 3,000
COOK & SAMUELSs, Outbuildings 400
A. W. JEE, Dwelling house 600
McDERMOT & Co., Saloon and Outbuildings 8,000
John HESSLER, Boot and Shoe Store 2,000
Robert COLLISON, Saloon 1,000
____ CASTOR, Tin Shop 4,000
I. W. HARRIS, Harness Shop 3,000
FARNSWORTH & GALLISON, Blacksmith Shop and Tools 2,000
J. W. TORNEY, Saloon, 8,000
Masonic Hall 8,000
J. R. McCREADY, Livery Stable; 3,000
James McCREADY, Wheelwright Shop 400
Steinberger, Boot and Shoe Shop 500
Frank L. WURBURN, Hotel 3,000
J. A. HENRY, Buildings, 2,090
Wm. BISHOP, Tailor Shop 500
Wm. COHN, Outbuildings 2,000
S. KRAFT, Dry goods store 19,000
H. SCHLAGETER, Hotel and furniture 9,000
B. F. BACHMAN, Saloon and contents 5,000
Saml. LORD, Saloon 500
Maria La FORGE, Buildings 2,000
George BERNHARD, Saloon and contents 2,000
J. A. GRANDVOINET, Drug Store and Buildings 8,000
Benj. GLIDDEN, Buildings 1,500
Henry RUPELT. Buildings 2,000
W. H. HILL, News Dealer, 1,000
Odd Fellows Hall 2,000
John HIGMAN, Grocery Store 5,000
W. H. CROCKET, Carpenter's shop and tools 500
Emma HOWARD, Building and contents 800
DALY & BRADFORD, Law Office 300
R. McCAFFREY, Library and furniture 1,000
H, DAVANAY, Buildings 500
Lovejoy & Co., Concert Hall 1,000

                                                      Total $153,900

The above probably includes most of the losses, though it is barely
possible we may have omitted some, and we are certain that there are many
small losses not included in the list. The following list will show who
is insured and the several amounts:

Mrs. GISCHEL, (policy pledged as security for Mortgage on property)
Bogan & Co., insured for 12,000
John BECKER, insured for 2,000
STAHLS Bros., insured for 2,000
SHAINFELD & ARENT, insured for 3,000
John HESSLER 1,000
F. L. WULBURN 2,000
S. KRAFT 12,000
J. A. GRANDVOINET, partially insured
John HIGMAN 2,000

                                                    Total $37,200

To which may be added the amount of Grandvoinet's insurance, of which we
neglected to obtain particulars.
The destruction of property exceeds that of the fire of 1858, and
although some of our citizens have commenced rebuilding, yet hard times
generally, and want of funds among a majority of the sufferers, will
render the progress of improvement necessarily slow. The burnt district
presents a sad-spectacle. Smoking ruins, blackened walls, charred timbers
and here and there a chimney looming up above the ashes, mark the site of
a once pleasant and prosperous village. Personal considerations are lost
in sight of in the general wreck and ruin, and a disposition is
manifested to sacrifice private interest for public good.

submitted by William Disbro

May 9, 2002