1885: The Great Fire of Galveston

KorbenDallas

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The Galveston fire of 1885, started on Friday, November 13 near the business district.

  • More Than Forty Blocks of Buildings Destroyed.
  • 100 Acres in the Heart of the City Laid Bare.
  • About 2,300 People Made Homeless at a Single Blow.
Trees survived again
Galveston_Fire_1885.jpg

This is amazing how these "urban fires" match the same pattern. This 1885 Great Fire of Galveston, Texas is not an exception. The following few lines are the dead giveaway:
  • The following morning, Saturday, Nov. 14, headlines in The Galveston Daily News amply described the catastrophe.
  • All told, the terrible fire destroyed 568 houses, yet, miraculously, there is no evidence that a single life was lost.
Galveston_Fire_1885_2.jpg

About 1:45 o’clock yesterday morning the alarm bell gave the signal which foretold one of the most dire conflagrations which has ever devastated Galveston Island, sweeping as it did almost from bay to gulf across the island, destroying in its path some of the most elegant residences of Galveston, and reducing to ashes a portion of the city in territorial area about 100 acres, all thickly populated and embracing about forty squares, with nothing now to mark the place where stately residences once stood save a number of ghostly chimneys and an occasional bare wall where a brick building chanced to be in the wake of the devouring flames.
  • The holocaust was confined to the residence portion of the city, composed almost entirely of frame buildings, where scarcely a vestige remains over the burned district to outline the places where the houses so recently stood, some palatial mansions and others less pretentious, but all bearing the happy name of home to several thousand people who today are homeless.
  • The blaze ignited after a foundry’s furnace was left lit and unattended — and fanned by nature’s indifference.
  • The flames were first discovered in the rear of what was known as the Vulcan foundry, and while the direct origin can not be traced, it is supposed to have occurred from the leaving of fire in the furnace, which may have been fanned into flames by the stiff gale which prevailed during the night. This foundry was located on Strand, between Sixteenth and Seventeenth streets, and the fire was first seen in the rear of the foundry, on the alley between Strand and Avenue A, about the location of the furnace.
  • It was some time after the discovery of the fire that a general alarm was sounded; hence a consequent delay of the arrival of the fire department. Add to this the very defective working of the waterworks and the fact from 2 to 4 o’clock a.m. the wind registered a velocity of thirty miles an hour.
  • Most of Galveston’s building and housing stock at the time was built of wood - much still is today - and with the near-gale-force wind blowing from the northeast, the fire quickly burned toward the Gulf.
  • The flames soon spread with startling rapidity, and within a very few minutes were being blown a solid sheet of fire across Strand street, catching the frame buildings on the opposite or south side. While the fire department was very severely criticized, mainly by those opposed to the recent change to a paid system, they did, under the circumstances, about all that could be done with the limited number of men in the service, and after the flames had crossed the block between Strand and Mechanic and Sixteenth and Seventeenth streets the combined fire departments of the State would have proved ineffectual to overcome their progress.
  • On the northwest corner of the block between Strand and Mechanic and Sixteenth and Seventeenth streets was a lumber yard, at which every effort was directed to prevent its burning, as the high piles of dry lumber in flames would have been but kindling to the general fire.
  • The high wind, however, carried sparks and large pieces of blazing embers high up over house tops and through the air with a force that wafted them several squares ahead of the flames as death dealing couriers to announce the dire and inevitable result.
  • Homeowners and others rushed to remove whatever belongings could be saved. They had underestimated the firestorm’s fever.
  • The scene was sublime in its very awfulness, and to the lookers-on it soon became apparent that all efforts would be useless in trying to check the headstrong fury of the flames, and then attention was turned toward trying to save what was possible of the effects of the houses in the immediate march of the storm-beaten flames. All volunteered to give a helping hand in this, and houses for blocks around were stripped of their contents, which were carried, as it was thought, out of danger — those living on the gulf front, who were busy in assisting their distressed neighbors living along the bay side, little dreaming that they would be called to the preservation of their own families and firesides.
  • Eventually, the fire, having consumed virtually everything in its path, encountered open ground.
  • The block between Eighteenth and Nineteenth and M½ and N, was consumed with the exception of one cottage on the northwest corner of the block. Petering out for want of food, and being offered some resistance by an engine that was placed here, the great fire was stopped at O, not, however, until it had destroyed the block between 19th and 20th and N and N½, and between 19th and 20th and N½ and O, excepting three small cottages on the south-west corner of the block.
  • The limit was reached about 6:30 or 7 o’clock, and within the space of about five hours over forty blocks of Galveston’s buildings succumbed to the flames.
  • All told, the terrible fire destroyed 568 houses, yet, miraculously, there is no evidence that a single life was lost.
  • The Great Fire
  • Galveston, Texas - Wikipedia
Interesting how these two chimneys below are not present in the photograph above. Wonder why...

Galveston_Fire_1885_3.jpg



The Galveston Fire'1885 Song
They even had a song dedicated to the event. For additional info on the song follow this link to the Library of Congress source.

Galveston_Fire_1885_5.jpg

kd_separator.jpg

KD: We have a clear and obvious pattern following just about every single of these bogus fires. Please review this article here.
  • Interesting that this fire does not have its own wikipedia page. Makes one wonder how many of these smaller scale "fires" are out there that we do not know about.
  • If you are able to locate any additional photographs pertaining to this fire, please share.
  • What's your opinion as far as this particular fire goes?
P.S. Checkout this Galveston Ursuline Academy building allegedly constructed in 1890 (after the fire). This Galveston was an interesting place back then. The below structure is just a single example of its architecture.

ursasouth_1.jpg
 

Verity

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..Vulcan foundry, and while the direct origin can not be traced, it is supposed to have occurred from the leaving of fire in the furnace,
Presumed to have started in the Vulcan foundry. Vulcan was a god, associated with fire.
I squint at the word founder and foundry because it implies more than the obvious 'find/found' with its uses and variations.
I looked it up (as usual) and found this interesting etymology in the Oxford online;

Origin
Middle English (in the sense ‘knock to the ground’): from Old French fondrer, esfondrer ‘submerge, collapse’, based on Latin fundus ‘bottom, base’.

There was also this;

founder2
  • A person who establishes an institution or settlement.
    ‘he was the founder of modern Costa Rica’
So as a sort of god, they set it on fire, burned it to the ground and 're-founded' it perhaps?
I'm watching the changes in our greater world with great and almost dispassionate interest now because there 'is nothing new under the sun', and the same pattern happens over and over again. In small cycles and big ones.

What has been is what will be,
and what has been done is what will be done,
and there is nothing new under the sun.

Is there a thing of which it is said,
“See, this is new”?
It has been already
in the ages before us.

There is no remembrance of former things,
nor will there be any remembrance
of later things yet to be among those who come after.


-Solomon/Ecclesiastes/Marcus Aurelius- it's a common theme, and basically life will get pretty boring without a) god and b) human intrigue. These fires are certainly intriguing even if just from the technology p.o.v. (but more besides that).
While the fire department was very severely criticized, mainly by those opposed to the recent change to a paid system,
Oi!
Who was suddenly paying them?
Paid to follow direct orders to not attempt to put out the fire until it had a decent foothold?
The hidden hands attempting with every fire to destroy the existing old world to create the new world, to be as gods among mere mortal men?
 

Rhayader

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It mentions dense population and not a single death. Ok so where are all the reports? Its 1885 so plenty of journalism by then, no miraculous stories of escape and survival? They lived to tell the tale, so where are they?
 

HulkSmash

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I find it so telling that all these beautiful buildings are the same style. You would think different 'architects' would produce different styles. But its the same in all the cities we have investigated here. This high Victorian Gothic style just screams to me of the older civilization..Again, I think of that San Francisco panorama and you see that same style type buildings littering the photo. Oh wait the 49ers had high Victorian Gothic style building expertise. Yeah. Furthermore, I poked around looking for any photos of the Ursuline Academy under construction by this Clayton dude, and couldn't find anything. Sure there were photos found of the construction of the many Expositions' buildings, but they were fabricated copies of the style, using cheesy materials. I want to see how a real stone building like this Ursuline Academy was constructed. They had photos back in Clayton's time. I really want to see a modern construction company, from start to finish, create one of these enormous, high Victorian Gothic style buildings, using real stone and creating all the detail that we see used to be everywhere. I wonder how long it would take, if it could be done at all.
 

whitewave

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What caught my attention as especially remarkable was that the fire happened at 0145 and yet that entire town of sleeping people managed to wake up fully in time to escape? Most people who are awakened are not fully awake for at least several minutes after they open their eyes and many take even longer. To be awakened to a life-threatening crisis requiring instant clear thinking seems incredulous to me. And yet the entire town apparently did because no one died. Were there any reports of injuries as people rushed to save their household belongings? Any mourning of pets or livestock lost?
And it's unbelievable (literally) that such rapid devastation of an uncontrollable conflagration would selectively leave the leaves on the trees undisturbed.
One wonders what the point of mentioning the complainers of firefighter payments was in the article. Many years ago in Oklahoma City we had a similar situation in which the firefighters wanted a raise. The city asked for a bond issue to be able to increase firefighters pay and the city voted it down. Two days after the bond was rejected OKC had it's first (and if I'm not mistaken, only) 5-alarm fire. The bond was reproposed and passed.
 

Jim Duyer

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Presumed to have started in the Vulcan foundry. Vulcan was a god, associated with fire.
I squint at the word founder and foundry because it implies more than the obvious 'find/found' with its uses and variations.
I looked it up (as usual) and found this interesting etymology in the Oxford online;

Origin
Middle English (in the sense ‘knock to the ground’): from Old French fondrer, esfondrer ‘submerge, collapse’, based on Latin fundus ‘bottom, base’.

There was also this;

founder2
  • A person who establishes an institution or settlement.
    ‘he was the founder of modern Costa Rica’
So as a sort of god, they set it on fire, burned it to the ground and 're-founded' it perhaps?
I'm watching the changes in our greater world with great and almost dispassionate interest now because there 'is nothing new under the sun', and the same pattern happens over and over again. In small cycles and big ones.

What has been is what will be,
and what has been done is what will be done,
and there is nothing new under the sun.

Is there a thing of which it is said,
“See, this is new”?
It has been already
in the ages before us.

There is no remembrance of former things,
nor will there be any remembrance
of later things yet to be among those who come after.


-Solomon/Ecclesiastes/Marcus Aurelius- it's a common theme, and basically life will get pretty boring without a) god and b) human intrigue. These fires are certainly intriguing even if just from the technology p.o.v. (but more besides that).

Oi!
Who was suddenly paying them?
Paid to follow direct orders to not attempt to put out the fire until it had a decent foothold?
The hidden hands attempting with every fire to destroy the existing old world to create the new world, to be as gods among mere mortal men?
The early Celts and Odin followers all tell us that the Vulcan was related to the Blacksmith. And the Druids have always stated that the Blacksmiths were the leaders of the various Druidic cults in the area. Another key word that indicates a Druid leader is "swineherder". When you see either term in an ancient text, they are speaking to fellow Druids and indicating a Druid Shamanic leader.
 

milhaus

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Here are some newspaper clippings I found interesting.

The Daily Dispatch (Montgomery, Alabama) Nov 13, 1885

galvestonconspiracy.PNG
Conspiracy?

The Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) March 16, 1886

galveston.PNG
Incompetence? I am assuming this is concerning the same fire unless there was another one after the first one.

Here is a clipping of the paper the day after. The Great Fire article linked above is from the 15th.

newspaper.jpg


vulcan.PNG

They even listed all the damaged properties and their estimated values.

losses1.PNGlosses2.PNGlosses3.PNG
I stopped clipping there because it goes on and then to the next page.

outsideopinion.PNG

No pictures, yet. The Galveston paper seemed to be mostly back to other matters by Monday.
I can transcribe these articles if anyone has trouble reading/seeing them and provide more clippings if anyone is interested.
Just ask.
By the way, Royal Baking Powder is superior to all others. Undoubtedly the purest and most reliable.
 

maco144

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Bewildered musing... For such a long time I was considering the California fires that destroy homes but not trees having something to do with smart meters, microwave frequencies, modern tech etc. Looking at all these old fires makes me question how they can have the same result of buildings destroyed and trees are fine. We have made the atmospheric electricity worldwide grid assumption with all the Old World architecture, so these new fires are the same variation of an old technology, right? It's confusing to me the probabilities of it.

Side note of unimportance... Every time I see one of these towns/cities I'll look up what is happening there now demographically, real estate for sale, restaurants, schools, etc to get a vibe for what is happening there. And for Galveston is has hands down the most homes for sale then any I've seen. Nice looking homes in what looks like a paradise location.
 

Verity

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The early Celts and Odin followers all tell us that the Vulcan was related to the Blacksmith. And the Druids have always stated that the Blacksmiths were the leaders of the various Druidic cults in the area. Another key word that indicates a Druid leader is "swineherder". When you see either term in an ancient text, they are speaking to fellow Druids and indicating a Druid Shamanic leader.
Druids- priest magicians and wielders of HollyWood wands. This is always interesting- can I have any source you'd recommend? Good Druidic info. seems hard to come by. Some say they were okay, some swear they were evil priest class.
SOME even say they were originally Egyptian, and a link could probably be nosed out from the Italian peninsular relating to the Volcano etymology, transferred to Britain.
Vulcano - Wikipedia
Here are some newspaper clippings I found interesting.

The Daily Dispatch (Montgomery, Alabama) Nov 13, 1885
View attachment 21748
Conspiracy?

The Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) March 16, 1886
View attachment 21747
Incompetence? I am assuming this is concerning the same fire unless there was another one after the first one.


Here is a clipping of the paper the day after. The Great Fire article linked above is from the 15th.
View attachment 21758
View attachment 21757

They even listed all the damaged properties and their estimated values.
View attachment 21759View attachment 21760View attachment 21761
I stopped clipping there because it goes on and then to the next page.

View attachment 21762


No pictures, yet. The Galveston paper seemed to be mostly back to other matters by Monday.
I can transcribe these articles if anyone has trouble reading/seeing them and provide more clippings if anyone is interested.
Just ask.
By the way, Royal Baking Powder is superior to all others. Undoubtedly the purest and most reliable.
Reads like the California fires in places tbh. Reminds me of disaster capitalism. Classic media spin, right down to the advertising opportunities too.
Bewildered musing... For such a long time I was considering the California fires that destroy homes but not trees having something to do with smart meters, microwave frequencies, modern tech etc. Looking at all these old fires makes me question how they can have the same result of buildings destroyed and trees are fine. We have made the atmospheric electricity worldwide grid assumption with all the Old World architecture, so these new fires are the same variation of an old technology, right? It's confusing to me the probabilities of it.
Agreed. It makes the head spin.
The trees *not* burning could simply be one of the following 'fireproof' trees:
Can You Name the Most Fire-Resistant Trees?
Fire Resistant and Retardant Plants | Australian Plants Society Victoria

Apparently the holly tree was used by the druids to protect from lightning, quite a magical property.
 
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trismegistus

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Side note of unimportance... Every time I see one of these towns/cities I'll look up what is happening there now demographically, real estate for sale, restaurants, schools, etc to get a vibe for what is happening there. And for Galveston is has hands down the most homes for sale then any I've seen. Nice looking homes in what looks like a paradise location.
I wouldn't exactly call it a paradise location. I've been there within the last five or so years. It looks like at one point (around the time of the fire) it was an extremely beautiful city with great architecture. Now it is a failing tourist trap. The oil spills that have occurred there in the last decade has turned the water a nasty gray, the beaches are generally full of trash. There are plenty of nicer areas along the gulf of mexico worth visiting, you can skip Galveston.

I am not surprised there is a lot of real estate available, it is likely many who realize their beach homes aren't appreciating any time soon and Galveston has done little to invest in the improvement of the city. I haven't been there since Harvey hit the area, but when I was there it was within a year or two of another large hurricane and it was still fairly rough in certain areas.

This looks to be another fire in the same vein of the Great Baltimore Fire. Total destruction + miraculous lack of deaths = one shady ass fire. It stands to reason that Galveston has a history of destruction, primarily from hurricanes, but this fire is definitely from out of left field. If this fire was indeed part of the same playbook to level cities, could they not have just waited for the next big hurricane? There was a pretty massive one less than 20 years later.

1900 Galveston Hurricane

974086_1280x720.jpgGalveston_-_1900_wreckage.jpg

The Great Galveston hurricane,[1] known regionally as the Great Storm of 1900,[2][3] was the deadliest natural disasterin United States history, one of the deadliest hurricanes (or remnants) to affect Canada, and the
fourth-deadliestAtlantic hurricane overall. The hurricane left between 6,000 and 12,000 fatalities in the United States; the number most cited in official reports is 8,000. Most of these deaths occurred in and near Galveston, Texas, after storm surge inundated the coastline with 8 to 12 ft (2.4 to 3.7 m) of water. In addition to the number killed, the storm destroyed about 7,000 buildings of all uses in Galveston, which included 3,636 destroyed homes; every dwelling in the city suffered some degree of damage. The hurricane left approximately 10,000 people in the city homeless, out of a total population of nearly 38,000. The disaster ended the Golden Era of Galveston, as the hurricane alarmed potential investors, who turned to Houston instead. In response to the storm, three engineers designed and oversaw plans to raise the Gulf of Mexico shoreline of Galveston island by 17 ft (5.2 m) and erect a 10 mi (16 km)
seawall

One strange wrinkle to this wiki article is:

In 1900, the city of Galveston, Texas, was a booming town.[17] According to the 1900 Census, the population of Galveston was 37,788, an increase from 29,084 people recorded in the 1890 Census.[18]
So apparently after a fire wiped out 40 acres of housing in 1885, Galveston still increased its population by quite a bit in a short time.



Thomas Edison sent a film crew down to Galveston to film the destruction. I find some of these clips to be really creepy. @3:42 into the video - - what are those guys doing just standing around like that? They look like a bunch of droogs ready to get up to some ultra-violence, if you know what I mean. @4:30 - - clearly staged "clean up" effort, men just randomly hitting things with tools and throwing debris around with no real rhyme or reason. I guess at this point I expect nothing less from the charlatan Edison.

EDIT:

Wow, they took this video down within the same day I posted it. I'm leaving the original comment up, along with another video I found with the same footage, this time with a bit more story to surround it.


The footage I'm talking about is @ 6:19 and the other clip is missing from this particular video 😲 of all the random things to take down on YT the same day its posted in regards to this is slightly more than coincidental, methinks.


The one thing I will say about the city is there was and still is a lot of examples of the Grand Unified Architecture.

1024px-Beach_hotel_galveston.jpg57700ae60562d477371a8c88395e11bf.jpgdsc04825.jpg
 
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trismegistus

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Yup, you nailed it.

From waymarking.com:

"Sacred Heart Parish was established on June 21, 1884, when Rt. Rev. Bishop Nicholas A. Gallagher made a division of his parish in Galveston. He assigned the east end of the city to the Society of Jesus to be organized into a new parish. Reverend John F. O'Connor was given this responsibility. One of the Jesuits under Rev. O'Connor, Father Slevin, arrived July 15, 1884 and Sacred Heart had its first mass the following Sunday.
However, Sacred Heart had its beginnings in 1854 when Col. Michael B. Menard donated the block bounded by 13th and 14th streets and Sealy (Ave. I) and Broadway, to Bishop Odin, then bishop of the Diocese of Galveston, with the condition that an educational institution for boys be erected.
The school, St. Mary's University, was located in the 1300 block of Sealy until 1924. From 1884 until 1892, the Jesuits held Mass for the new parish in the University chapel. On January 17, 1892, Bishop Gallagher dedicated a new structure to the Sacred Heart of our Divine Redeemer. When finished, the church was the largest in Texas and the third largest in the southern United States.
Architect Nicholas Clayton designed the French Romanesque building which was situated at 13th and Broadway, facing south. Extremely ornate, it drew glowing praise from visiting members of the ecclesiastical family. However, the life of this impressive structure was short-lived, and on September 8, 1900, a storm that became the worst natural disaster to ever strike the United States, demolished the building. The destruction was complete except for two stained glass windows, the Mass bell, the statue of the Sacred Heart and the Crucifix which remains in the present day church. The parish family immediately made plans to replace their building. The present structure was designed by a Jesuit brother named Jimenez. The cornerstone was laid on June 21, 1903 by Bishop Gallagher and the church was consecrated on January 17,1904.
The 1915 storm destroyed the dome of the church and Nicholas Clayton designed the present onion-shaped protuberance which graces the building today. The statue of the Sacred Heart which survived the 1900 storm was atop this dome until 1948 when once again a storm took its toll and the statue was struck by lightning. The parish ordered the Carrara marble replica of the Christ of the Andes which was placed on the dome in 1950. Designed in Clayton's architecture, natural light floods in from the dome and adds majesty and impressiveness to the Carrara-marble altar below. Covering the front of the altar is a large and lifelike representation of da Vinci's Last Supper in pure white marble.
Years later, two side Carrara marbled altars of Mary and Joseph were erected. Above the main altar is a beautiful Munich stained-glass window bordered by two smaller windows, both ornate and colorful. Stain-glassed windows were installed throughout the church and Msgr. Chataignon installed the Stations of the Cross which were hand-carved in Switzerland.
Throughout the history of the parish there has been a spirit of dedication in the lives of the priests and the people of Sacred Heart which is reflected in the inscription of the church on its frontal face --AMDG-- Ad Majorem Del Gloriam ...To the greater glory of God. The Parish today has over 1,300 families."
When I have some more time it may be worthwhile to look into Nicholas Clayton, perhaps a separate thread.
 

Jim Duyer

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Druids- priest magicians and wielders of HollyWood wands. This is always interesting- can I have any source you'd recommend? Good Druidic info. seems hard to come by. Some say they were okay, some swear they were evil priest class.
SOME even say they were originally Egyptian, and a link could probably be nosed out from the Italian peninsular relating to the Volcano etymology, transferred to Britain.
Nearly 100% of the translations of Old Welsh and Anglo-Saxon works has been done by people of the cloth, or people with intense feelings for the Church. They seem to read into the pagan script their beliefs, and to throw out anything that is "heretical". In fact, they actually delete or insert words to fit what they want the text to say - it's very obvious and brazen. So we really have almost no knowledge, and what we do have is false. I have personally re-translated most of what is available (what was not burned or disappeared). In one from Anerin, or possibly Talisin, I read about the swine-herds being Druid leaders of faith, and in another that I translated from Anglo-Saxon peoples, I learned of the close association between blacksmiths and Druids. When I get the chance I will post a topic on it so that we can all comment on this interesting area of our ancestral history. I can't locate a direct link between the Druids and the Egyptians; however, I have a very clear bit of evidence linking the Germanic or Druid Celts with the Babylonians, of the time of early Sumeria, somewhere around the 2200s BC. I'm also fairly sure that at least two of the major players in the Epic of Gilgamesh were very clearly Western Europeans (or perhaps Northern and Western Europeans). And of course, equally suspicious is the fact that the Scandinavian weights and measurements were often made using base-60 math, or Sumerian influences, rather than the Roman or Greek influences that other peoples adopted.

Never let a crisis go to waste, right Knights of Labor?
Red Bird, you mentioned gold and giants. I thought I might mention that this past week I read a new article on Science.com that explained a new discovery of the properties of gold in the treatment of various cancers. If I were connected to the ET folks, and perhaps a giant/human hybrid, perhaps gold would have been useful in treating the effects of either our own solar radiation or the fallout from some type of nuclear war. Just a thought for you to mull over. EDIT: Herte's something weird. I searched for the link in order to provide it here, and it has been completely erased! Here's what my gmail saved message shows: Cancer DNA Binds to Gold. That Could Lead to New Cancer Blood Test. Pretty odd for that to happen on a science page, unless it really touched a nerve somewhere. BUT if you use that for a search phrase on Gullible Google, it comes up right away.
 
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