Bridgewater Bulletin, January 11, 1916.
Fairview Hotel, one of the most popular hostetries on the South Shore, was totally destroyed by fire early on the morning of January 9th. In one hour the big building was consumed with practically all its contents, in fact the occupants had to flee in their night apparel. The maids lost all their clothing, and one of them $30 in cash. Norman Rafuse, a commercial traveller, lost a sum of money and all his clothing except an overcoat. Mr. and Mrs. F.H. Davison lost a large amount of clothing, articles of value and jewelry. M. Ducoffe had furnished his own rooms, and this was devoured by the flames. A number of other guests lost all except what they escaped in.
Mr. and Mrs. Awalt and daughter escaped with their lives, and that is about all. The fire gained headway so rapidly owing to the wooden construction of the building, that, after attention was given to the saving of life, it was too late to save the contents. The loss to Mr. Awalt is very heavy, somewhere in the vicinity of $15,000, while the insurance is only $3,500 on the building and $1,000 on the furnishings.
The firemen and others did some strenuous work, with the weather at zero, but no wind. The residences of A.C. Barnaby and H.M. Pattillo nearby were not in imminent danger, but water had to be freely used to keep them from the flames. The barn and sample room building were saved by hard work.
Fairview Hotel originally was built by John L. Doyle, now of Sydney. It was acquired by Smith Bros. of Halifax and leased by F.W. Clark who conducted it for some years during which time additions were made to it. Later, when Mr. Clark moved to his present situation, W.E. Awalt and his brother, Cornelius, leased the premises, and later W.E. Awalt conducted it alone and made valuable additions and improvements.
The origin of the fire is not clear, but undoubtedly was due to an over-heated furnace.
Mr. and Mrs. Awalt are both ill from heavy colds, and they have the sympathy of the whole community on their heavy loss.
Contributor: Rosemary Rafuse