Historian's Corner

Charlene Cole
Sandy Creek/Lacona Historian
Historian's Corner
October 7, 2014

Photo: Wart Block Fire 1947 (across from Sandy Creek Diner/Gas Mart)

The village of Sandy Creek has suffered its share from disastrous fires, which has crippled its growth and thwarted its progress. Most of the business section has been rebuilt on the ashes of former buildings. The post office block, Fox Grocery store and other buildings occupying the same lot on South Main Street are erected on the same site formerly occupied by Clark Hotel, E. D. Williams’s General store and L. J. Jones Hardware establishment. The brick block erected by Dr. H. Lyman Bulkley in 1882, on the same site, went up in flames in 1890, and the buildings on North Main Street from Shaul’s Drug store (car lot) to the O’Brien Mill (Sancona), met the same fate in 1884. The Salisbury Hotel was burned in 1884, which stood on a little eminence opposite the old town hall.

The Sherman block, South Main Street, was burned in 1898. The fateful fire of January 9, 1912, which was the California Block, with all the business places were destroyed and today is the site of the “park.” The snow and sleet, wind and flames, made it appear as if the whole village was doomed. A worse storm could not be imagined, and it was by heroic effort that the firemen succeeded in getting the flames under control.

The fire department organized in 1885, was known for its service and efficiency. It consisted of Ainsworth Hose Co. No. 1, Frank Hadley, chief and Alert Hose Co. No. 2 Hugh Killam assistant chief. It has added to its equipment a chemical apparatus which has minimized the risk of fires.

The system of water works was constructed by the village corporation in 1891. Water is taken from a spring on a farm owned by David Hamer, two miles east of the village of Sandy Creek, who generously donated to the village board the land surrounding the spring, and all riparian rights. Much credit is due the Hon. D. E. Ainsworth, the late C. W. Colony and A. E. Sherman for their interest in this enterprise, for it brought untold blessings to the people of the community.

The Lacona fire department was organized in November, 1885, with nineteen members, and with William J. Stevens as chief. It consisted of one Engine Company, of which George W. Wimple was foreman, and a hose company with Joseph H. Rounds as foreman. The chief was George H. Ackerman; assistant chief, Charles B. Jones; treasurer, C. S. Gayton; secretary, B. E. Randall.

Fires: Gilson Wart papers
The Kessler corner is the only building that never burned. It used to be a dwelling house there and John Brown was injured in the woods by a falling tree lay in bed for years in the front corner room. Sometimes they moved him out on the veranda.

We are looking for a photo of Dr. Reed for the Doctor’s of Sandy Creek/Lacona book!

Contact me by phone 387-5654 x7 or e-mail: schistoriansandycreek@gmail.com as I check both daily. Otherwise I am in my office every Friday from 9 am to 3 pm www.sandycreeknyhistory.com

Charlene Cole
Sandy Creek/Lacona Historian
1992 Harwood Drive
Sandy Creek, NY 13145
315-387-5456 x7
office hours: Friday 9am to 2pm