The Great Fire of Tignish

     Tignish proved how strong of a community they were when they were able to recover from the disastrous incident known as "The Great Fire of Tignish." The fire started at around 1:30pm in Mr. Kinch's Carriage Shop on September 1, 1896.

     According to one source, "the wind was blowing briskly from the southwest... the whole village was like a tinderbox and the flames quickly sprang from roof to roof until in a short space of three hours the whole village was a blackened ruin."( Journal-Pioneer, Feb.22, 1961)

     By 3:00pm a large portion of the village was destroyed. This included 62 buildings; leaving a total of 14 families homeless. A list of some of these buildings included buildings that belonged to Peter Kinch, I.S. Chaisson, Dr. Murphy, A.J. Bernard, John Carter, Theodore Bernard, Patrick Hogan, Charles Dalton, Edward Hackett, M.P. John J. MacLellen, J.Albert Brennan, Wm. Carruthers, John Walsh, Joseph E. Richard, Duncan Shaw and J.H. Myrick's, who lost their entire block and most of their goods.

     Thankfully the St. Simon & St. Jude Church was one of the few buildings to survive. There was a total of $125,000.00 of damage cost to the community, and the insurance only provided compensation of $35,000.00. It took many years to recover from the damaging flames caused by the fire. However, the community stuck together and through hard work and support, got back on their feet in no time.

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