1908 - FLAMES RAGE IN ONEONTA. ARLINGTON HOTEL AND SEVEN OTHER BUILDINGS BURNED.
Loss Is Estimated at $100,000 – Several Persons Had Narrow Escapes and Lost All Their Personal Property.
ONEONTA, Dec. 28 – Fire which for a time early yesterday threatened the whole business section of Oneonta destroyed the Arlington Hotel and seven other buildings in the heart of the city, causing a loss of fully $100,000. Many of the occupants of the hotel and the living apartments in the other buildings had narrow escapes, none of them being able to save any of their effects and most of them being compelled to make hurried exits in scanty attire from the burning structures.
The fire started in the Arlington Hotel building, which is owned by H. E. Huntington of Los Angeles and Oneonta. It spread rapidly along the block of which the hotel formed a part, the last remaining row of wooden buildings in Main street. The age of the buildings and their inflammable character made the mas [sic] easy prey to the fire and it was but a few moments from the time the first alarm was given before they were a mass of flames and doomed. Across Main street from the blazing block stands the finest row of brick buildings in the city and it was only by the hardest kind of work that the firemen save them from destruction. As it was, the window sash and frames on the street fronts of the new buildings were burned and the contents of several of the stores were considerably damaged by water.
While the occupants of the burned buildings were able to make their escaped [sic] unscathed, the personal belongings and furniture of something like a score of families were destroyed. The quick spread of the fire soon made entrance to the business houses in the blazing row impossible and only a small part of their stocks could be saved. The concerns in the burned row which suffered practically complete losses were the Factory Glove store, R. E. Townsend, job printing plant; George E. Thomas, shoe shining parlors, bakery of F. M. Campbell; Arlington Hotel, offices of Oneonta Coal company, cigar and tobacco store of L. D. Slade, drug store of George Slade, Marble’s pool room; the liquor store of James Morton and the millinery parlors of M. and L. Stringham. The blocks were owned by the First National bank, E. R. Ford, E. E. Huntington, George L. Wilber, L. H. and Perry Blend of Oneonta; Dr. William R. Stewart of Bennington, Vt., and Mendel Brothers of New York city.
Firms in the new buildings across the street which suffered losses are the Oneonta department store of Ronan Brothers, the two largest department stores in the city and C. O. Biederman, jeweler and Stevens & Baker, hardware dealers.
At one time it appeared that the whole business section was doomed and aid was asked from Cooperstown, but before the department of that village had started word was sent that it was not needed. The cause of the fire is unknown.
The insurance on the burned and damaged property is about $50,000.
Syracuse, New York
December 28, 1908
Visit Oneonta, New York, USA
Discover the people who lived there, the places they visited and the stories they shared.