Interesting Items / Disastrous Fires
Interesting Items about Ridgetown
- The Ridgetown Post Office was opened on March 6, 1853, with Richard L. Marsh as Postmaster.
- Ridgetown's first brick building built about 1855, still stands and is now occupied by Dr. Feagan, Dentist.
- The first concert in the Township Hall was given by the Morpeth Brass Band in 1856. All travelling shows were given and all public meetings were held in the Township Hall until Porter's Opera House was built in 1879.
- The Porter Block (now known as the McKinlay Block) was the first three story structure built in Ridgetown. The first show given in the Opera House was "Uncle Tom's Cabin".
- The Public Library was started under the name of the Mechanic's Institute in 1879. At the present time, the Public Library is in the Municipal Hall. Miss Anne Prosser, Librarian.
- About 1880, Ridgetown had a Cricket Club, the grounds were south of the Baptist Church.
- At one time Ridgetown had two skating rinks, one owned by Charles Dauphin, the other by a Mister Martin. Dauphin's rink was used as a gymnasium in the summertime.
Disastrous Fires in Ridgetown
- Fire in 1873 levelled all buildings from what is now Dr. Orr's and McCallum's office to an open space near what is now O'Donnell's store.
- July 22, 1874 - Charles Graham's Hotel.
- September 23, 1874 - The Southern Hotel.
- 1879 - Moody's first Mill.
- May 10, 1882 - Fire swept all the Main Street buildings from what now is Locke's to Walnut Street. On the North side and most of the buildings on the South side opposite. The fire apparatus and company from St. Thomas came up and rendered assistance.
- July 11, 1889 - Moody's second mill burned.
- April 6, 1889 - Town's second boiler explosion, Watson Bros. Heading Mill. Four were killed.
- October 24, 1899 - Fire destroyed north side of Main Street from Erie to Albert carrying down all the magnificent three story blocks, located there.
- November 11, 1903 - Explosion of acetylene gas in the Lozar House.
- 1926 - Moody's third mill (then operated by Howard Farmer's Co-operative Society) burned.
Transcribed from the records of Mrs. Geo. S. Brien, Rural Ridgetown Women's Institute.