Old St. Andrews



Kennedy's Hotel Burns



Jan 22/1879
Kennedy’s burns. See photocopy.
One of those unwelcome occurrences from which St. Andrews has been happily exempt, took place on Wednesday afternoon, 15th inst., after the Standard was issued. The weather was intensely cold, and the ringing of the fire bell caused a thrill of terror, as its tones were distinctly heard at half past four o’clock in the afternoon. The engines were quickly brought to the fire, which was discovered in the attic of Kennedy’s Hotel, near the Railway depot, lower end of Water Street. The engines were early at work and the populace were busily engaged removing the furniture and supplies, but the flames had made such headway that it was plain the fine building and large L would be burnt to the ground as there was a strong wind blowing from the north-west. The firemen, noble fellows that they are, labored with a will, and displayed great endurance, for the water froze on them while working at the fire, notwithstanding the intense heat from the burning building. The old Watson house, within a few feet of the hotel, was with difficulty saved, its being so near the burning building made it difficult for the firemen to get at the side and rear. Mr. Donahue’s house in rear of the hotel was also in danger, and narrowly escaped; had the Watson House caught the Foundry adjoining and other buildings would have been destroyed; indeed there is no telling to what extent the fire would have spread, had it not been for the excellent management and labours of the firemen.
            During the fire, several had their hands and feet frost bitten, and two persons Joseph Shaw who fell from a ladder, and James Henan, were slightly injured by the bricks from a falling chimney. Mr. Kennedy must have suffered a great loss, as but a short time since he made an addition to the hotel by the erection of a well finished L, and put in new furniture, and made other improvements, all of which cost him a large sum of money; he also had a valuable stock of liquors. The house was largely patronized and well kept, as has been admitted by the travelling public. Mr. Kennedy and his family have the sympathy of the people in their great loss. We are informed that the establishment and furniture was insured for $6,500, which will not cover the loss, as much of the furniture was damaged, and the business temporarily destroyed. We learn that Mr. Kennedy has been looking up a new site, with the intention of erecting a large hotel. The building was burning for upwards of four hours. (The old Watson house may have been on the site of the Kent home. Like Ladd’s house was the Donahue house.)


Jan 23/1879
Kennedy’s Hotel burns to the ground.
On Wednesday afternoon, 15th inst. the Town Bell rang out the exciting peal of Fire! It was only the work of a few minutes before the Fire Companies, Nos. 1 and 2, were at the Engine House, and away on the run down along Water Street toward Kennedy’s Hotel. Capt. McKinney of No. 1 and Capt. Magee of No. 2, with their men, were now on the scene of action. Kennedy’s Hotel was on fire! That was enough. Officers and men of both companies worked as firemen do. The firemen of St. Andrews are determined, zealous, and full of pluck—that is the record. As evening closed around them the intense cold of the day increased in intensity; and notwithstanding all was done that human effort could do under the circumstances—the Hotel succumbed to the fiery conqueror; and heaps of ashes and smoking debris were all that remained to tell the story of the conflagration. Capt. Magee with a few others remained with his engine, until the Morning Star shone out like a bright diamond among its firmamental sisters—when weary and cold, the gallant fellows retired to their homes. In connection with the burning of the Hotel, the following accidents occurred. Joseph Shaw, fireman, No. 1 Company, fell from a ladder and was so seriously injured that he and to be taken home. James Heenan, Mariner, received so much injury from a falling chimney that he was taken to the Marine Hospital, and Capt. John S. Magee had both feet so badly frozen that Dr. Gove had to be sent for the render medical aid. The Hotel was insured for $5,000 and the furniture for $1500—but no money consideration can compensate for all the inconvenience, expense, trouble and distress consequent of being burned out of house and home in mid-winter, especially with a large family. It is expected that Mr. Kennedy will be encourage to re-build a new and bigger hotel on the Clark lot opposite the Market Square, as such an establishment would prove an acquisition to the town and profitable to the proprietor.