Abbott’s Metal Shop Destroyed
From the Colon Express, November 20, 1952:”Good Work of Firemen Saves Other Buildings
Abbott’s Magic Novelty Company is gradually getting its several departments organized from the effects of the fire Saturday morning which completely wiped out the metal shop building on Canal Street, together with all the machinery and supplies in storage.
The fire was discovered shortly after 4:00 o’clock Saturday morning and had evidently been burning for some time, getting a good start. The fire started in the front part of the building and when heat or an explosion from inside shattered the front windows, the noise aroused Mrs. Anna Whitford and daughter, Mrs. W. C. Schultz, who turned in the alarm.
The Colon firemen responded quickly and realizing more help was needed to confine the blaze to the one building, the Burr Oak truck was called. The firemen did a good job confining the blaze to the Abbott building which was completely destroyed within an hour.
The Whitford home, garage and barn were all in the danger zone to the west and south of the burning building, but all were saved, but somewhat damaged. The house will need new windows and repainting. The Farrand barn, just across the alley to the east, was also saved, with considerable damage to the siding.
The south part of the building was of cement block construction and it was those walls which protected the adjoining buildings, possibly preventing more serious results.
The Abbott’s have five buildings, each housing a different department. The burned structure housed much of the metal working equipment and machinery, as well as hard-to-replace metal supplies. All the stage equipment, tents and chairs, used for the big get-together, were stored in the upper story of the building. All was consumed in the blaze.
Percy Abbott was in Chicago on business and arrived home a few hours after being notified of the loss. Recil Bordner, the other member of the company, was at the scene of the fire but unable to rescue more than a few plans and blueprints. The loss is partially covered by insurance. Many of the secret patterns and drawings will be difficult to replace.
The owners are undecided as yet regarding rebuilding at the same site.”