Snapshot of History


Kingston City Hall after fire in 1908.

This photograph of a fire ravaged City Hall is likely the result of the July 24th, 1908 blaze. Although undated and untitled, all internal evidence – such as vehicles, clothing, and damage, point to that particular fire. The blaze was the result of a tinsmith’s soldering pot which was being used in the dome. A stiff breeze blew sparks onto the floor of the Clock Tower, and despite the tinsmith’s attempt to put it out with his hat, the fire quickly took light in the wooden structure. The fire department responded quickly, but their best engine was in for repairs, and the wagon they were using was not able to create the pressure needed to reach the blaze which was 80 to 85 feet above ground. Within the year, the City hired Joseph Power to undertake the restoration.  Citation: Queen’s University Archives, Kingston Picture Collection, V23-PuB-CityHall-65

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