1902 History

Officers

Chief: George Collins

Engine Co. 1

  • Forman A. Chope
  • Secretary L.M. Smith
  • Treasurer E.A. Aggeler
(This is not a conclusive list, only what we have documented so far.)

Documents

San Francisco Call, Volume 87, Number 136, 14 October 1902

THINK FIREBUG IS A MADMAN

Authorities Fail to Find the Miscreant at Ferndale.
Atrocious Attempt to Burn a Hall and Its Occupants.

Special Dispatch to The Call, EUREKA, Oct. 13.— The person who attempted to set fire to Pythian Castle, In the town of Ferndale, Friday night, while the Native Daughters of that town and Eureka were celebrating the anniversary of Oneonta Parlor is still at large. The authorities, who are working on the case, have as yet secured no clue that they can follow. The citizens think the attempt to burn the hail and its Inmates must have been the act of a madman, yet there is no one in the community that gives any signs of being mentally deranged. The affair is in no danger of being forgotten, and the citizens will not rest until every effort has been made to find the guilty party.

The Eureka guests knew nothing of the dastardly deed until they reached Eureka, as the flames were not discovered until after they had bid good-night to their hostesses and were speeding on their way toward home.

The Pythian building is a three-story frame structure. The first floor Is occupied as a furniture store. The second story is devoted to offices, and on the third floor is located the lodge room and banquet hall. The fire bug, to make sure of his work, set a fire on each floor. Softie rubbish in the yard served his purpose to fire the first story. The second story he set in flames by setting fire to paper placed between pieces of firewood piled in a wood room. The banquet hall he fired by Igniting some dry rubbish in a box off the kitchen.

The fire was discovered by the night bartender In the American Hotel, and it was he who turned in the alarm. The fire department responded quickly and the flames were extinguished before they gained any great headway. It cannot be known just when the fire was started or how long it was smoldering before it broke forth. It is possible that the fiend did not attempt his work until after the Ferndale Native Daughters had wished their guests good-night. If the flames had gained headway before the party broke up it would have been impossible for the merrymakers to have reached the ground from the third story without great loss of life.