May 30

A moment in history…

Hotel Roy Burned

Fonda Landmark Destroyed – Night Porter Injured While Escaping

Hotel Roy Fire - Fonda, NY - 1909

Syracuse Herald, Syracuse, NY, 26 Jan 1909

Fonda, NY – Jan 26 — The most disastrous fire that has visited this village since 1899 was discovered about 2 p.m. yesterday in Hotel Roy. The fire was first discovered by Miss Agnes Miller, an employee of the hotel, and before she could give the alarm, the entire building was filled with smoke. The fire is thought to have originated in the laundry, which was located in the cellar of the hotel. The Fire department was called out and shortly afterwards word was sent to Fultonville for assistance, and the firemen from that village – were soon on hand to give their help. The firemen worked faithfully, but all their work only seemed to help the blaze, and at 1 o’clock the entire structure was a roaring furnace.

When it was seen that the hotel could not be saved, streams of water were turned on the buildings on the opposite side of the street and they prevented the fire from spreading.

Shortly after the fire was discovered, John McMaster, who was the night porter in the hotel, and who was asleep in his room on the third story, on the west side of the hotel, was awakened and being unable to enter the all, opened the window and hung by his hands on the window ledge for several minutes, when the bricks became so warm that he lost his hold and fell to a roof below. He received a bad gash across his forehead, a badly burned arm and a broken hip. He was taken to Amsterdam hospital on the 4:52 train. Hotel Roy was erected by John V. Borst in 1836, and was one of the old land marks of the village. In 1892 Wells and Ward Streeter of Gloversville purchased the hotel of the late Jacob Snell and have since conducted the same. The building was destroyed and the loss is estimated at about $40,000 with an insurance of $25,000.

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