Aug. 28, 1873

On Haraden’s wharf, next below the railway station, stood a wooden building, the lower part of which was used for general storage, and the upper part as Dennett’s sail loft. The captain of a vessel lying at the wharf was leaning upon a post, and looking at the roof, when he saw a sudden spurt of smoke leap from the shingles, followed by a tongue of flame—the fierce wind caught it, and in an instant it became a roaring fire. In spite of the utmost exertions of those whom the alarm summoned, the fire spread. The terrible, searching, raging wind drove before it the devouring flame. The sugar and molasses importing establishment of R. Sibley & Son took fire next. Frederick Bros, followed—then Pitcher & Gorham—and it seemed scarce fifteen minutes before the fire had seized the large store-houses of Swan & Sibley. The spectacle was truly terrific. The roaring, hissing, crackling fire sent out clouds of black smoke and huge tongues of flame. The fire companies did all they could, but no human efforts could avail against the marge of such a giant of destruction. The sash, door, and blind factory of Mathews & Co. was as a tinder box to the fire as it licked up Lane’s storehouses in passing. The Belfast Foundry was a mass of fire in spite of all exertions.

Aug. 24, 1899

The visit of the warship Texas to Belfast last week was an event long to be remembered. The Texas came earlier and remained longer than expected; but did not come too early or remain too long. Her departure left a void in the harbor, on shore, and in our hearts, that cannot well be filled. Belfast surrendered at discretion to one of the destroyers of Cervera’s fleet, without the discharge of a gun, and laid willing tribute at the feet of Capt. Sigsbee and his officers. The fact that Capt. Sigsbee had commanded the Maine, even to those who did not recall his noble conduct at the time of her destruction in Havana harbor, and in the trying events which followed, had endeared him to our people. The general sentiment is well illustrated by the following incident: A woman had gone to Northport hoping for an opportunity to shake hands with Capt. Sigsbee. She did not care to go on board the Texas; she felt no interest in any of the festivities. Fortune favored her, and she returned home happy.

Aug. 24, 1911

Well, the fair was a great success—wasn’t it? Everybody was there, and everybody is enthusiastic as to the exhibits, the races—in fact, the “hull derned show.” A rainy day causing a postponement is usually a serious financial setback, but did not prove so here…The next day, Thursday, the second day of the fair, it was announced by the management that over 10,000 people had passed through the gates, and there certainly was a crowd, and more vehicles, including many automobiles, than were ever seen on these grounds before. The weather was ideal and continued fair for the closing day, Friday, when it is said there were 6,000 people present.

Compiled from archival holdings by Sharon Pietryka, Reference & Special Collections Librarian at the Belfast Free Library.