Pearls In Our Past - Hartford MI A Pictorial History of Hartford Michigan




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153 pg transcript

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Fires of 1877 and 1879
Downtown Hartford Michigan


A History of Hartford
by Charles Spaulding

On Thursday morning, June 21, 1877, occurred the fire which swept before it nearly all the buildings on the south side of Main Street.  The loss was about $20,000 with but $6,500 insurance.  The origin of the fire was in the store of Jacobson and Spaulding, dealers in dry goods and groceries.  The other firms were Paul Husen, jeweler; Levi Earl, butcher; C. Boynton, grocer; W. Watts, shoemaker; H.M. Olney, druggist; W. R. Mills, photographer; Harley and Smith, liquior dealers; A.H. Young, dry goods and groceries; John Gross, meat market; H. Eaton, clothing and groceries; Sherburne and Crafts, general merchandise.  Within a fortnight, bids were made for vacant lots in the burned district.  People from neighboring towns were anxious to secure lots but our town people at once commenced the work of clearing away the debris and making preparations to build.  It was decided to allow none but brick buildings to be erected in the burned district.  Our merchants were doing business right along in those days and didnt suspend for either pleasure or misfortune.  They moved their goods into convenient vacant stores and continued as if at the old stand.  Mr. Olney moved into a vacant store in the Reynolds block, Eaton into the store just east of it, Young into the Morse building, Sherburne and Crafts into the old post office building, Paul Husen into Shadlers office and John Gross into J.P. Earls building.  Earl and Allen and C.H. Engle were the first firms to build.  They built the store just east of what was until recently the Academy of Music. In August 1879 the row of wood buildings on the east side of Center Street from Main Street to Mrs. Maxim's house was burned. In 1883 the planing mill, sash door and blind factory of Olds Brothers was burned together with several barns and a dwelling house.

Click here to read other interesting events in the early beginnings of Hartford as recorded in the historical transcript, A History of Hartford by Charles Spaulding.

Information for this web site was gathered from personal interviews, newspaper articles, scrapbooks, personal photo albums, and other documented materials - many available to the public at the Hartford Public Library or Van Buren County Historical Museum.  Please report any typographical errors, updated information, or incorrectly stated information to the webmaster for correction.  Reprinting for personal and instructional purposes is permitted, however, unauthorized commercial reprinting of this information or unauthorized linking to photos-pictures on this site is strictly prohibited without written permission from the webmaster. 

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A Pictorial History of Hartford, Michigan
Emma Thornburg Sefcik,
Competent Secretarial Service
Copyright 2000 - All rights reserved.

Revised: March 02, 2015