Tuesday, July 8, 2014


122 years ago today the City of St. John's experienced the most catastrophic fire in its long history.

According to the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador website the fire began when a dropped pipe caught some hay on fire in Timothy Brine's stable at Freshwater Road at the the top of Carter's Hill at approximately five o'clock in the afternoon. 

The fire continued to burn into the night and the next day. Over two thousand houses were destroyed and about 16,000, half of the city were left homeless. Less than 1/3of the burned properties were ensured. 

St. John's bounced back from a number of destructive blazes in the nineteen  hundreds -1816-1817 and 1846. The majority of the compact city was concentrated along the water front and the adjacent hill. The houses of most of the poor were living in shantys. It was a tinderbox waiting to blow.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Historic Trust  launching a revised app, Walk St. John's, to commemorate the anniversary. 

Check it out and follow the historical event as it happened. 

The Trust will live-tweet the events of the Great Fire of 1892 from its account @NLHistoricTrust using #GreatFire1892.

I have used the app in the past as a guide when showing friends and visitors the many historical sites and structures in North America's Oldest City. 

If you are interesting learning more about the great fire you can try and find a copy of Moses Harvey's Great Fire of 1892 or the more contemporary work of Paul Butler entitled 1892.

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