From the Saint Albans Museum:

In the latter half of the 19th Century of the City of St. Albans suffered through several devastating fires, which severely damaged much of its downtown business district. Each time the city rebuilt even better, but after the two big fires of the 1890s the city really seems to have made a greater effort to prevent this kind of event from happening again.

Following those fires all of those downtown buildings were reconstructed of either brick or stone, the city improved its water service, and it greatly improved its fire department with a new station and more modern equipment.

As you can see in this photograph they also practiced their skills on the tallest business block in downtown St. Albans, the four-story block once known as Waugh’s Opera House.

Some interesting things to note are the crowd of bystanders this event drew on Taylor Park, the name of some of the business Twigg’s, Doolin’s, Depatie’s Shoes, the Woolworth Store and at the end of the block the Seymour Building. Also interesting is the curious woman hanging out the window above the Woolworth Store and the totally uninterested woman in the bay window above the Doolin sign. Can you find the landmark bulldog?

Do you have photographs which record the history of St. Albans? If you do and would be willing to donate them to the Museum call us at 527-7933 or contact the Museum at