Tuesday, January 25, 2011

1894 Windmill Fire

Fires plagued the Fowlerville downtown area -- with at least four major fires, one in each quadrant -- over the years. But, in the early years, fires were not contained just in the shopping district, but many homes and outbuildings would sustain damages or complete destruction. J.C. Ellsworth, an early banker in the community, lost a windmill in 1894. The article, as published in The Fowlerville Review, follows:

The fire bells sounded the fire alarm on Monday at about the noon hour, caused by a volume of smoke issuing from the top of J.C. Ellsworth's wind mill containing a large tank at the top which furnished the water supply for the house, barn and machine shop by pipes leading to all the buildings. The mill was a very large one and with the timbers and braces that supported the large tank and made about as hot a fire as an ordinary barn. The barn and machine shop stood within a few feet on either side of the mill and it was a pretty warm fight, with the facilities at hand, to keep from setting fire to the buildings. The mill was entirely consumed and the loss is estimated at about $600. No insurance.

It wasn't but a few weeks later, J.C. Ellsworth is putting up a new wind mill in the place of the one recently burned.

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