Major Fire in Summerside, 1906

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Submitted by Christine Gorman

As printed in the October 12, 1906, Daily Examiner.

Major Fire in Summerside

1906 Summerside Fire!

Practically all the Business Portion Remains Unscathed - the Post Office Escapes but Has Close Call - Catholic Church is Safe - Great Loss and Hundreds Homeless.

Eight blocks, comprising about seventy-five houses have been destroyed in Summerside. This is the result of a fire which started at 9:50 last evening in the freight shed of the P. E. Island railway.

The churches destroyed include the Baptist, Christian Baptist and Church of England.

The hotels destroyed are the Russ, the Strathcona, the Plaza, Charles, Mrs. Seaman's and Mauley's.(?) Besides these, many of the town's finest residences are completely destroyed. Seventy-three houses in all were destroyed. The total loss is over $100,000 of which $11,000 is covered in W. K. Roger's office and $25,000 in other companies.

The burned buildings include:

Railway Freight shed

K. F. Ellis' house

John Dickieson's warehouse with full stock/ implements

John Monroe's house

Mrs. Arsenault's house

John Gould's house

Ferguson's lobster factory and house with $600 worth of tools

L. Gallant's house

Bert Clarke's house

John Perry's house

Hall Wedge's house

C. Milligan's house

James Wilson's house

Charles Hotel, kept by Lewis Leard

Joseph Read's house, occupied by Mrs. McLeod

Coal shed of Joseph Read & Co., full of coal

Neil McLeod's house, occupied by Mrs. Arsenault

Wm. Brehaut's house, occupied by Wm. Trowsdale

Nelson Bishop's house

Plaza Hotel, owned by Jas. McDonald, E. S.

A. H. Wadman's undertaking rooms

John Crozier's house

Allan McKinnon's house

Strathcona Hotel

Electric light works

Alex Waugh's House

Mont Waugh's house

Mrs. Casswell's house

Mrs. H. Tyle's house

Mrs.? Arsenault's house

John McDonald's house

Miss A. McDonald's house

Mrs. Larkin's house

Robert Waye's house

J. A. Brace's house

John Adam's house

Mrs. Dempsey's two houses

Mrs. Clarke's boarding house

A. W. P. Gourlie's house

Mrs. Doyle's house

Baptist church

John McKay's house

Mark Taylor's house

Wm. Gould's house

John Cunnigham's house

Dr. J. F. McDonald's house

Cyrus Hick's house

Wm Brown Jr., house

C. R. McLellan's house

Russ Hotel

Public gardens

Church of England and the rectory

Robert Sharpe's house

Dr. A. McDonald's house

Mawley house

Mrs. (Dr. )Beairsto's house

A. C. Rogers' house

Christian Baptist Church

F. W. Strong's house

C. R. Rogers' house

Wm Brown, Jr, house(?)

Muttart's boarding house

Percy Tanton's residence and saw mill

The Court House and Jail

Mrs. Gourlay's house

Mrs. Cobb's house

Geo Godkin, M. L. A., house.


The rain came on at six o'clock but by that time the fire had gone right through the town; the burned path being about two blocks in width. The blaze and the heat was something terrific, but everybody worked like Trogans (sic.) Numerous pathetic scenes were be witnessed as people were carried out in their beds, on stretchers, etc. The Post Office had a very narrow escape, the fence around it being licked up. Other escapes just as close were numerous.

At one o'clock this afternoon the Court House and Jail was still burning. But otherwise, the destruction was practically at an end. St. Paul's Roman Catholic church had a very narrow escape. Happily, the whole business portion escaped.

The Charlottetown firemen rendered splendid assistance and were the great means of saving the Presbyterian church. The message asking for assistance came to Mayor Paton at 12:25. The Charlottetown fire bell was rung and in short time many firemen had assembled. The following party left by special train after two o'clock and reached Summerside after a quick run:

Chief Ranahan

Thos. Wakeling

E. Heartz

R. B. Rattray

Jas Connolly

A. Trainor

James McMillan

Wm. Martin

S. McKearney

G. Goudin

J Turner

B Large

H. Matheson


The special train bringing them back to the city left on return about half past eleven o'clock.

Above Photo: The aftermath of the 1906 fire in S'Side --- Prince County Court House remains , where the blaze was finally brought under control. Photo taken from the top of the Post Office building -- now City Hall. Scan courtesy of Paul H. Schurman.

© Dave Hunter and The Island Register: HTML and Graphics

Last Updated: 11/18/2004 11:15:03 AM
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