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Print, Photographic

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Antigonish Heritage Museum
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Nom de l'objet : Print, Photographic
Catégorie de l'objet : Graphic Documents
Matériaux : Paper
Numéro d'accession : 2001.110.003
Date de début de production : 1898-09-05
Date de fin de production : 1898-09-05
Description : Rectangular; snapshot features a scene showing the remains of a building engulfed in smoke with onlookers.
Commentaires :   Fire at the Mount St Bernard College - St Ninian Street - AntigonishThe Convent FireThe Casket, July 7, 1898On Tuesday last this community suffered one of the greatest calamities that ever befell it in the loss of much of the greater portion of the magnificent building of St. Bernards Convent, completed less than two years ago, which was the pride of the Catholics of Antigonish, and indeed of the towns-people of all religions, to whose daughters, irrespective of creed, its excellent educational facilities were open.   Shortly after five oclock the convent bell sounded the alarm, followed almost immediately by the Cathedral and other bells of the town, which told the awakening people that at least an alarming fire was in progress.  Some of the Sisters and senior boarders, sleeping in the dormitory of the western wing were awakened by the alarm given by the servant boy.  The other Sisters and junior boarders in the dormitory of the main building were awakened about the same time by the dense smoke that filled the room.  It was so dense as to be almost suffocating.  They at once alarmed those in the nearest houses by ringing the bell, which brought them help.  The others were taken out by the window, reaching the roof of the western wing by a ladder, whence they were got to the ground by the same means.  Most of them were in their night clothing.   One the Sisters located the fire in the furnace room adjoining the kitchen on the rear in the basement of the eastern wing.  It was then confined to that room, and prompt and cool-headed action could have saved the building with but slight damage.  But the water supply failed through the bursting of the branch pipe leaving the main at the corner of Main and Hawthorne streets.  Immediately after the turning on the pressure at the reducer some distance above, and through some misunderstanding no hose was carried from the hydrant in front of Main Street School for several hours afterward.  The supply all this time was confined to a stream from the old . . . placed at the river directly upon arriving, betook themselves with energy to the task of getting out all the movables as possible.  The musical instruments were got safely out, as were most of the furniture and other articles, with the exception of the effects of the boarders in the junior dormitory.  Most of these were lost.  Most of the furniture, too, was unavoidably damaged in the getting out.   The origin of the fire is still uncertain.  There had been no fire in the furnace for three weeks, and no fire in the kitchen stove the previous afternoon, as it was being repaired.  The servant boy, Hugh MacDonald, who was to light the fire in the furnace early that morning, says that going into the room for that purpose he found the place on fire.   St. Bernards Convent was erected in 1883 by his Lordship Bishop Cameron for the benefit of the young ladies of the town and country.  Only the central portion of the late structure was then erected.  In 1896 his Lordship, ever a most zealous promoter of education in his diocese, determined to make St. Bernards an institution for the higher education of women in affiliation with St. Francis Xaviers College, and to extend the building so as to fit it for that purpose.  A large wing was erected on each side of the former building in the summer of that year.  His Lordship personally undertook the entire work, with some assistance from the people of the town.  Very great sympathy is felt for him in the loss of the property in which he had put all his means, and in which held so large a place in his affections, and the people, keenly sensible of all he has done for them, and of the loss they have sustained have, of their own motion, called a meeting to be held at the College Hall this evening to consider the action to be taken.   The Mother Superior is in Montreal and it is not known just what insurance there is upon the lost property.  It is known, however, that there is $5000 upon the building in the Atlas.   The good Sisters, who have done so much for the young women of the place, have the deepest sympathy in the loss of their fine institution.  They desire to express their warmest thanks to the firemen and others who worked with such energy in the effort to save the building, and who did save a very material and valuable portion of it.   The foundation and the brick walls of the basement are practically unharmed and are there for the new building which is the general sentiment should be at once erected upon them.   The kind and thoughtful action of Mrs. R.M. Grey in supplying the firemen and other workers with hot coffee was much appreciated.TENDERSSEALED TENDERS, addressed to the undersigned, will be received from noon onTuesday, the 19th Instant, up to Noon of Thursday, the 12th July,for the rebuilding of St. Bernards Convent, Antigonish.   Plans and specifications can be seen at the College during the time above mentioned.   The undersigned does not bind himself to accept the lowest or any tender.U JOHN CAMERON,                         Bishop of Antigonish   Antigonish, 14th July, 1898.  
Établissement : Antigonish Heritage Museum
Ville de l'établissement : Antigonish
Province de l'établissement : Nova Scotia
Site web de l'établissement : http://www.heritageantigonish.ca/   Facebook-Antigonish Heritage Museum  Twitter-Antigonish Heritage Museum  YouTube-Antigonish Heritage Museum

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