Sunday, May 10, 2009
Galveston Fire of 1885
The Galveston fire of 1885, started on Friday, November 13 near the business district. The sheet music to the left celebrating the fire is a song written by Louis Gruetzmacher, with music by Jacob Day.
Cary Cartwright, in his history 'Galveston' writes:
"The fire began at a foundry near 17th and the Strand, and a stiff north wind swept it from rooftop to rooftop.... Flames raged out of control, cutting a four-block-wide swath across the center of the Island-from the Strand, over Broadway, past Avenue O, nearly to the beach. Homeowners raced ahead to save what they could.... In the street, people stumbled about, dazed and bewildered.
"Galveston's first professional fire department was barely a month old and no match for the conflagration. The pressure on its newly installed saltwater system proved insufficient, and bits of shell clogged the nozzles of the firehose. By the time it burned itself out, the fire had consumed forty-two blocks, destroying 568 buildings and homes.... Amazingly, no one died."