Fire destroys much of Quincy, Grant County, on July 13, 1917.

  • By Kit Oldham
  • Posted 3/04/2003
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 5362

On July 13, 1917, hot grease catches fire in a butcher shop and the ensuing blaze nearly wipes out Quincy, a railroad town in eastern Grant County near the Columbia River. Six buildings are destroyed within an hour.

The butcher, Warren Platt, was out of town that day. Late in the afternoon, an assistant was rendering lard in Platt's shop when hot grease caught fire. There was a strong northwest wind and flames spread rapidly. The butcher shop, Johnny Dormaier's general store, Axel Jonson's law office, Fred Renz's novelty store, the post office, and a vacant restaurant building were all destroyed. Total damage was estimated at $12,000 to $15,000.

Several of the merchants left town after the fire. Dormaier moved to Portland. Platt opened a new meat market in Ephrata. Jonson moved into another building but left the city the following year. The post office reopened in a brick bank building down the street.


Sources: Faye Morris, They Claimed a Desert (Fairfield: Ye Galleon Press, 1976), 340-41.

Related Topics:   Cities & Towns

Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both HistoryLink.org and to the author, and sources must be included with any reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the source noted in the image credit.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License
Major Support for HistoryLink.org Provided By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins | Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry | 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle | City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private Sponsors and Visitors Like You