Harford History

Aberdeen businesses and homes damaged by first major fire

August 17, 2008

On Aug. 18, 1907, Aberdeen suffered from a devastating fire that destroyed two buildings and damaged several others.

According to the Record, the fire broke out at 2 a.m. after a failed robbery attempt at Nelson, Worthington and Brothers Hardware Store. Dropped matches ignited the fire, which quickly spread to the neighboring Aberdeen Hotel.

During the fire, a large can of gunpowder exploded with a thunderous roar. The explosion then set fire to a shoe store, Crown Hall, the First National Bank and several residences.

The firemen doused the blaze with the help of a bucket brigade manned by town citizens, and others opened up their homes to the evacuated hotel guests. This first major fire in Aberdeen's history destroyed the hardware store and hotel.

Source: Aberdeen Centennial Almanac, 1892-1992. Compiled by the staff of the Harford County Public Library.

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