Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | August 1, 2015

Cornwall Photographs of the Week. Pitt Street Fire, August 7, 1933.


scan0001A photocard in the wake of the Great Pitt Street Fire of August 7, 1933.scan0002.jpg


This photograph is looking northwest from 2nd St.


Looking southwest from 3rd Street.scan0004.jpg


Looking northeast from the Post Office on 2nd Street.  The large building in the centre is the original Palace Theatre.

Called the “worst fire in the city’s history,” it “was believed to have been started by several young boys playing with matches” in the alleyway between Cornwall Motor Sales and Fursey’s Garage.  The rapidly spreading fire was fought by Fire Chief George Hunter along with firemen Cory Moore, E. Kenedy, J. Warrington, W. Borthwick, J. Firn, A., F., and W. Silmser, A. Parker, F. Taillon, L. Hurley, G. Vasbinder, G. Wagoner, W.A. Milligan, A. Conliffe, H. Plumley, I. Miller, A. Wilson, C. Snetsinger, and W. Copeland.  Overwhelmed they called for help from Ottawa and Montreal.

More than 31 businesses were destroyed , and 15 families left homeless, causing in excess of $250,000 damage.  Injuries were kept to a minimum because the stores were closed for Civic Holiday.  Relief was operated by the Kinsmen Club from the old Town Hall.scan0012


A map from the “Standard-Freeholder” showing the area devastated by the fire.

If you would like to view more postcards, photographs and details of the Great Fire of 1933 visit the Cornwall Museum open Wed. to Sun., 11 am to 4 pm.  Admission is free.




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