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 didn’t 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
Shadler’s office and John Gross into J.P. Earl’s 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