Historical Society 1935

Photo: A week later Calais’ famous Opera House suffered the same fate. Again the firemen were compelled to try to save the surrounding buildings. The Advertiser reports “It became apparent that to prevent a general conflagration that the firemen must concentrate on nearby buildings. Too much credit cannot be given the firemen for their fine work in saving the MacCloud House and the Emmans Hotel, for if either had been neglected it is hard to say what the end might have been. Water was poured on both houses but the heat was so intense that the paint on the MacCloud House next to the burning building was blistered and more than 50 panes of glass broken. The plate glass all along the front of the Emmans Hotel was also cracked. Down the street the roofs of the Methodist Church and the home of MA Brogan caught but were extinguished.”  The Opera House was rebuilt and was most recently the JD Thomas office building.

1935 saw the loss of two of Calais’ finest old buildings. On May 1st, 1935 the grammar school on Academy Street caught fire early in the morning. The fire department arrived in time to possibly save the building but the water pressure on the hill was poor and the wind was blowing strongly. The best the firemen could do was save the adjacent houses by standing on their roofs with hoses. Several firemen were burned. According to the Advertiser  “ As the cupola which housed the bell burned it could be seen to slip down on one side and a single stroke just before the cupola fell seemed to give warning that it was leaving its perch of many years to start its descent to the basement, and it would never again call the children to school.”