The Great Fire of March 1863

On Friday night we told you about the Albert and Prince Street fire of June 1997 Ė and showed how it was considerably worse than the most recent downtown blaze, which was the Ro-Macís fire on March 26th. And while that gave some context, we got much more from a viewer with a keen sense for history. He pointed out that the largest recorded fire to have affected the cityís southside was the great fire of March 1863. Talk about a blockburner? That was a city burner!

Records show that it began between Prince and King Streets and destroyed 500 houses, killing 2 people and leaving 2000 homeless. It was suspected to have been a case of arson, but that was never sufficiently established.

Just 7 years earlier in 1856, a man had been hanged for causing the fire that destroyed most of the cityís north side.

Live and let live