The City wide fire of Hopewell

anadentone

Member
Messages
17
Reactions
66
I was doing my "follow this and that" thing (where I would look up one thing like a song, then look up a person and then another person and so on. It's like 6 degrees of separation wiki style.) on Wikipedia today when I notice something odd. I was reading about famous celebs of the talkies era when I ended up hearing about an actor named William Haines who was one of the hottest men of the 1920s. As I was reading, there was a section about him and his partner living in a town called Hopewell. From the section before it, the only state they had been referencing is Virginia. This is important for later. According to the wiki post. William and his partner lived in Hopewell until the fire destroyed most of the city, "The couple remained in Hopewell until most of the town was destroyed by fire in 1915. " Curious about random stuff like that, I clicked on the link presented in the wiki post about Hopewell then googled for pics of before and/or after. Except for a couple of photos, there's no other pictures of what the town looked like before the fire or even what caused it. One report said the fire started from one of the mills, another said a Greek restaurant. The pre-fire story said that Hopewell had no police force and was rampant with brothels, prostitutes and crime. Also mentioned that the fire destroyed 300 buildings, yet no one died and this happened during church time on Sunday. So, here's my questions:
1. Was the fire deliberate by someone for some "purification" reason?
2. Did Dupont had some shadiness going on?
3. If there was photos of the town before the fire, what was the reason for there not being a single piece from anyone who once lived there?
4. The only buildings spared was manufacturing plants (possibly Dupont owned)
5. Dupont had the rest of the damaged town rebuilt by the end of January. How? In a small town and no prebuilt homes (trailers/rvs/tiny houses) how was homes and businesses rebuilt in about 5 weeks?
6. Dupont closed up around the end of 1918, making the city a ghost town until 1923. (okay thats not a question)

But honestly, have anyone had any luck with finding pictures of building in Hopewell before the fire? I've found a few for a neighboring city called city point. Something is just shady about that town's fire. Other than word of mouth and a few newspaper clipping mentioning the fire, no proof exist today of the town before....odd.
 
Top