Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Midnight Fire Destroyed Pelham's Town Hall in October 1908

At midnight on October 24 1908 -- just after a Republican rally ended in the building -- Pelham's town hall suffered a major fire that nearly burned it to the ground. The fire began in the cell area at the rear. Thankfully, no prisoners were in the cells at the time. An article about the event appeared in New York City's The Sun. The text of that article appears below.

Pelham Building Partly Burned After a Political Rally.

WHITE PLAINS, Oct. 24. -- The officials of Pelham are investigating a mysterious fire which practically destroyed the Pelham Town Hall at midnight.

Last evening the Republicans had a big rally there and soon after the meeting ended and the politicians were going home there was an alarm of fire. It was found that the eastern end of the Town Hall, where the cells are, was on fire. Luckily there were no prisoners in the lockup. Politicians and speakers who had taken part in the rally joined the volunteer firemen in fighting the flames and finally saved part of the hall and prevented the fire from spreading to other buildings in the town. How the fire started hasn't been learned."

Source: Fire in a Town Hall, The Sun, Oct. 25, 1908, p. 7, col. 2.

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