News:  Colby Phonograph (4 Nov 1886)


Contact: Robert Lipprandt



Surnames: Brehm, Driese, Firnstahl, Walbridge, Woodbury


----Source: The Tribune - Phonograph (Abbotsford, Clark Co., Wisconsin) Wednesday, November 3, 2010, page 2


Between twelve and one o’clock Tuesday night, fire was discovered in Brehm’s hotel barn.


Alarm was given and in a few moments, crowds of people were on the ground but despite all efforts, the fire soon communicated with Brehm’s hotel, Firnstahl’s shoe shop and Brehm’s store, the tree catching almost simultaneously, then began a desperate fight to save the Colby House, which stood within fourth feet of Brehm’s hotel south and preceded the balance of the street in that direction. 


The little engine was stationed on the walk in front of the Colby House and the hose run out so a stream of water was kept pouring on the north side of the house.  This, with some blankets, undoubtedly saved the balance of the street. 


In the meantime, a crew was hard at work on the depot, also at Woodbury’s and at Walbridge’s good work was being done.  At each place the fire was held in check and confined to that square.


The buildings burned were Brehm’s Hotel, barn store, bowling alley and ice house, Frank Firnstahl’s shoe stop, Driese’s saloon, residence and cigar manufactory, barn and ice house, barn of Levi Woodbury, barn of G. J. Walbridge and hand care house of the W. C. Company. 


The contents of Brehm’s hotels were mostly removed, but so rapid was the progress of the flames, that little or nothing was saved from the other buildings. Firnstahl lost most of his stock and tools; the stock in Brehm’s store was a total loss as was also the entire records of the town.



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