On this day ………… 3rd March 1870

In the early hours of the morning on this day in 1870, the great fire of Chiltern began. Flames were noticed in the store of Mr JH Ferrier and alarm was raised. Within three quarters of an hour, the whole block of buildings was alight, from McLeans Corner to Corry’s. The heat was so intense that buildings on the other side of the street were smoking, and the energetic efforts by the local people kept the fire from spreading further. When the smoke and ash settled, seven shops had gone – McLeans and Ferrier’s Store, Graham’s Boot Shop, Crofts the Tailor, Manson’s the Drapers, Bennett’s the Watchmakers and Corry’s Store. Mr Bennett the watchmaker was to have a repeat experience two years later almost to the day, in another Chiltern fire.