Mount Hope Fire

Raleigh Register
March 31, 1910

Mt. Hope Destroyed By Fire

Once Prosperous Loup Creek Town Now A Mass Of Smouldering Ruins

Property Loss Estimated At $500,000

S. N. Fisher, Of Beckley, Is A Heavy Loser, Having His Hotel
And Store Destroyed - Few House Remain In The Town

Devastated by fire, the thriving town of Mt. Hope now lies in ruins visited by a dire calamity which in a few short hours burned and utterly demolished the place Thursday morning.

Starting in a saloon kept by Lewis and Hank at 7:30 in the morning, at half an hour after noon nothing remained of the thickly populated portion of the town but smoldering ruins.

A high wind was blowing at the time in a north-easterly direction and towards the main part of the town. The fire in a few minutes spread to the adjoining buildings, and the people began to move out for about the distance of a block. With great rapidity, the fire in about an hour and consumed nearly half a block, and the condition looked serious.

Two chemical fire engines from Macdonald, one from Glen Jean and one from Kilsyth, nearby mining towns, were immediately rushed to the scene, and aided in checking the fire for a short time. The flames, however, soon got beyond the control of the fire fighting apparatus on hand, and soon the entire block was ablaze.

Officials of the mining companies operating at Kilsyth, Price Hill Fuel Company, Macdonald, Turkey Knob Coal Company, Dunloop Coal Company and Derryhale Coal Company, closed down their mines, and sent their men to Mt. Hope to aid in fighting the fire.

At last it was seen that the town must go unless some radical method was adopted, and four or five large crews of men experienced in the use of dynamite were set to work.

Gray's Feed Store, Carwile's dwelling and Bolen's saloon were destroyed by dynamite, and for a while it was thought half the town might be saved. The fire, however, caught by the varying wind, swung around the dynamited area, and came in back of the main business section of the town, where all efforts to stop it were without result.

It was at first thought the fire would be gotten under control, many people threw their belongings into the streets but after 9 o'clock the fire progressed with such rapidity that the goods in the streets could not be saved, the heat being so intense that no one could approach them to carry them away.

The New River Coal Company sent 25 teams and wagons to assist in carrying away the property that had been rescued from the burning buildings.

Many women were hysterical, and some people had to be kept by force from rushing into their burning homes. The Fisher Hotel and the Mt. Hope High School were the last buildings to go. Everything possible was done by several hundred men to save these two largest buildings in the town, but all efforts were without avail.

Only a few houses were left standing in the town. Two large residences and a few small buildings remain. The skating rink is also still standing, and in this building, which is about 200 X 75 feet in dimensions, a large number of families took refuge. The miners at the coal companies in the nearby towns provided everything possible for the comfort of the thousand homeless people in the pretty little town of Mt. Hope.

Where, early Thursday morning, stood a beautiful little city, the metropolis of Fayette county, with paved streets, electric light, water and cement sidewalks, and everything that goes to make up a modern and up-to-date town, lies on the plateau nothing but smoking ruins and the tall skeletons of the two or three brick buildings which were in the town.

Folliwng is a list of those who suffered losses by the fire:

D. C. Haynes, loss $6000; insurance $4000.

Charles Salletty, loss $2,500 with no insurance.

F. Credario, loss $750, with no insurance.

Ben Demetto, loss $800, with no insurance.

N. H. Spradling, $2,500, with no insurance.

Sugar Creek Coal Company, on one building.

Mt. Hope High School Building, loss $22,000, with $12,000 insurance.

A. P. & F. M. Bailey, loss $8,000, with $3,000 insurance.

F. M. Jones & Company, loss $18,000 with $10,500 insurance.

M. E. Church, loss $15,000, with no insurance.

B. Sugar, loss $3,500, with $1,500 insurance.

Mt. Hope Bakery, loss $500, with no insurance.

W. R. Gray, loss $20,000, with $12,000 insurance.

Bank of Mt. Hope, building, loss $5,000, with $2,500 insurance.

Greenbrier Produce Company, loss $3,500, with $2,000 insurance.

Bell & Jones, loss $1,000, with no insurance.

Luther Bolden, loss $3,000, with no insurance.

Ashbury & Fielder, loss $1,000, with $450 insurance.

Fisher & Steiner, loss $2,500, with $2,000 insurance.

Bradley Drug Company, loss $20,000, with $3,000 insurance.

Sturgeon & Maynor, loss $5,000, with $3,000 insurance.

J. R. Carwile, loss $4,000, with $2,000 insurance.

William Ray, loss $2,000, with no insurance.

Sandidge Brothers, loss $500, with no insurance.

Whealon & Evans, loss $500, with no insurance.

Lowis & Hawks, loss $4,000, with no insurance.

Deeb Mason, loss $3,000, with no insurance.

M. B. Brackman, loss $2,000, with no insurance.

A. P. Callaway, loss $2,500, with no insurance.

F. A. Tinson, loss $2,000, with $1,200 insurance.

F. M. Bailey, loss $1,500, with no insurance.

P. H. Callaway, loss $2,000, with no insurance.

J. W. Perry, loss $3,000, with $1,500 insurance.

Mt. Hope Coal Company, loss $2,000 with no insurance.

Hartman & Jones, loss about $22,000 with no insurance.

Ben Hurvitz, loss $5,000, with no insurance.

Knights of Pythias and Red Men's Hall, loss $12,000, with $4,000 insurance.

Garrett & McNabb, loss $50,000 with $21,000 insurance.

Hurvitz & Lopinsky, loss $7,500.

F. M. Bailey, loss $4,000.

Mary A. Turner, loss $5,000, with $2,500 insurance.

A. P. Bailey, loss $12,500, with no insurance.

Fenwick & Holmes, loss $3,000, with $1,500 insurance.

S. N. Fisher, loss $15,000 (Fisher Hotel.)

Town of Mt. Hope (City Building) loss $3,000, with $1,500 insurance.

P. M. Snyder, loss $7,000, with $6,000 insurance.

John Shordon, loss $1,700, with no insurance.

L. C. Patteson, loss $10,000, with no $2,500 insurance.

C. M. Lilly, loss $2,250, with $2,000 insurance.

About 25 dwelling houses, the aggregate amounting to about $50,000, about one-half of which amount is covered by insurance.


West Virginia Archives and History