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Slept in the Streets (1892)
The great fire of July 25, 1892 in the south end of Bay City.
  • Transcribed September 2004.

  • Jul. 28, 1892: View south from Fremont avenue of destruction on Water street.

    Bay City Tribune - Tuesday, July 26, 1892



    Homeless Families Spent the Night Out of Doors.

    A rough estimate shows the total number of homeless families in the burned district at 500. Many of these were seen wandering about last night, not knowing where to go for shelter. Here and there on the back streets could be seen fathers and mothers, with children numbering from one to a dozen, huddling together with all their effects that were left piled about them on the grass. The sounds of weeping filled the air and the strongest heart could not withstand the sorrowful ordeal. Others, however, were more fortunate, as they had friends who game all the assistance in power. House were thrown open in numerous instances to whoever might come, and in fact, invitations were extended to all in accordance to the capacity of the homes. H. G. Miller, residing at 219 Fraser street, gave supper to sixty five children ranging 2 to 10 years of age, and similar acts of hospitality are reported from the different quarters.

    Heartrending Scenes.

    The scenes in and around the burned district during the afternoon were in many cases heartrending. In same instances sick persons were taken from their homes and conveyed to places of safety, and it is feared that the shock upon their nerves will result disastrouly.

    Strong men and women bent with age and their hair tinged with gray, who had labored for years to building themselves little homes, could be seen running about the streets in a bewildered manner, apparently not knowing what they were about. Many of them had lost all their earthly possessions and knew not where to lay their heads. Others, however, worked industriously, and much more personal property could have been save had it been possible to secure conveyances. On every side could hear cries for assistance in this direction. Green & Braman, Hitchcock & Bialy and others aided in this work materially by donating the use of their mill carts, etc. to draw away household effects. But the demand was too great to be supplied. Hundreds of people carried their goods to places where it was supposed at first they would be safe. Unfortunately, however, the wind shifted to the south and in many cases they were destroyed.

    Up to a late hour last evening a number of persons were missing It is first thought, however, that any of them have met with accident. Among them was Mrs. Geo. Turner. Mr. Turner was out of the city. When he returned his home was consumed, and although he made vigilant search, up to 6 o’clock Mrs. Turner had not been located. “I am satisfied my wife is all-right,” said Mr. Turner, “but I am anxious to find out where she is. Oh, no, I am not worrying myself about the fire, I have met with misfortunes before.”

    Under ControlRelief Meeting

    1892 Fire Menu
    * Introduction
    * Letter, Letitia Dickie
    * Acres in Ruins
    * Fire in Detail
    * Under Control.
    * Slept in the Streets
    * Unfounded Rumor
    * A Relief Meeting
    Related Notes & Pages

    (Click to enlarge.)
    The fire of July 25, 1892 was Bay City's most disatrous, it started in the city's south end, near the Miller & Turner mill, located between Harrison street and the Saginaw river and foot of 31st street. Fed by gale force winds, it destroyed 350 homes and businesses covering a forty-block area. 1800 people went homeless, most lost all of their possessions.
    People Referenced
    Miller, H.G.
    Turner, Geo. Mrs.
    Turner, Geo.
    Subjects Referenced
    Fraser street
    Green & Braman
    Hitchcock & Bialy
    Internet References
  • None at this time.
  • WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.