Fires in Miles City
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Posted by Laura K. Jones (+22) 19 years ago
Hi!
It seems like there have been several fires in the downtown area of Miles City. When did they occur? I know about the one in 1883.
Thanks,
Laura K. Jones
Corvallis, Oregon
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11757) 19 years ago
Oi. I'd have to get the list from my office but a couple of times in 1883, once in 1885, if you read Sam Gordon's recollections on this site, you'll run into a funny section of firefighting--if it could be called that--in Victorian Miles City. Yeah, lots of fires. I'll get details if you need to know!

--Amorette
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Posted by Laura K. Jones (+22) 19 years ago
Hi Amorette,

Thanks for replying to my questions about the fires in Miles City. I will check back through Samuel Gordon's material and see if I can find the rest. I am writing about the Victorian period, so I am mostly interested in knowing about the fires in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Thanks again for replying to my question.

Laura Jones
Corvallis, Oregon
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11757) 19 years ago
Hi ho, have the info.

In the early 1880's, what is now Fifth Street facing Riverside Park was called Park street (even though the Park wasn't called a Park then.) That was the "main" street until repeated fires leveled it and everyone sort of rotated 90 ° to Main. The Park street fires were in December 1880, January 1882, and October 1883.

The big main street fire was the July 1883 fire which is the Rigney fire, if you know that story. The north and south sides of Main of the 500 block were leveled.

On May 5, 1885, the north side of Main between 6th and 7th burned and on May 22 of the same year, Main between 5th and 6th, which burned in the Rigney fire, burned again.

Incredibly, although fires were commonplace and involved the destruction of property, there never seems to have been life lost.

By 1886, there was a move to force all Main St. buildings to be built in brick. The Vreeland blocks in the 500 block were built in 1885 in response to fire. Today, the only wooden building in the main Main district is the soon to be destroyed Log Cabin saloon. It survived the 1885 fire, although it was damaged, at its first location and was moved at the turn of the twentieth century to where it stands now. I'll be curious when it is torn down to see if there are any scorch marks!

Let me know what else I can help you with.

--Amorette
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