Town Pond Reservoir Cridersville's Great Fire of 1918

Town Pond Reservoir Cridersville's Great Fire of 1918 (HMJ2X)

Location: Cridersville, OH 45806 Auglaize County
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Country: United States of America
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N 40° 39.191', W 84° 8.646'

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Side A:
The Village of Cridersville was founded in 1856. With the discovery of oil in 1885 the village prospered and grew quickly. Its business district developed along Main Street in the first block east of the railroad. The Town Pond Reservoir was constructed here in the 1890s to provide water in the event of fire. At 3:00 p.m. on May 2, 1918, a rubbish fire was started across the street from this pond and blew out of control. The fire ignited a nearby barn, and, with the aid of strong winds, soon carried to the business district on East Main Street. Wood frame construction and wooden shingles allowed the fire to spread rapidly. Within an hour both sides of Main Street were ablaze and the village had but a single hand pumper to fight the fire.
(Continued on other side)

Side B:
The Lima and Wapakoneta Fire Companies were notified at once. Upon arrival, they began to pump from this pond and within an hour it was dry. Boy Scouts and soldiers from Lima also came to help fight the fire. The column of smoke could be seen for miles and the heat was so intense that trains could not pass through town. By 6:00 p.m. Cridersville's downtown was gone. Only the cast iron safe of the Home Bank remained among the embers. In all, 32 structures were destroyed and 50 people rendered homeless. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured in the fire. Before the development of municipal water systems, modern fire fighting equipment, and fireproof building materials, disastrous fires like this were all too common in communities of every size in America.
HM NumberHMJ2X
Series This marker is part of the Ohio: Ohio Historical Society series
Marker Number4-6
Year Placed2003
Placed ByCridersville Historical Society, Village of Cridersville, and The Ohio Historical Society
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, October 20th, 2014 at 12:19pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16T E 741455 N 4504180
Decimal Degrees40.65318333, -84.14410000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 40° 39.191', W 84° 8.646'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds40° 39' 11.46" N, 84° 8' 38.76" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)419
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 114 E High St, Cridersville OH 45806, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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