Up in Flames

From Stephentown Genealogy: Roots & More

Written by Tina Ordone

Fire is always a terrible thing, when it destroys homes and businesses. Stephentown has never escaped the devastation of fire. My own grandparent's home was destroyed by fire several years after they had died. Here are some pictures of homes that have been destroyed by fire, as well as some stories about others.

Three Lose Lives In 97 Year-Old Woman's House

Petersburg, NY – Three elderly residents of this town lost their lives yesterday morning about 9:30 when fire destroyed the home of 97 year old Mrs. Amanda Littlefield on Route 2. Fire departments from this town, Berlin and Grafton were at the scene but were unable to extinguish the wind-swept blaze. Only the chimneys of the two story house remain standing. Mrs. Littlefield, Petersburg's oldest resident, was attended by Miss Ella M. Carr, 60, and her cousin, Myron Edson Carr, 67, both former residents of Stephentown. Mrs. Littlefield was born in North Pownal, VT and lived here 90 years. Miss Carr was born May 20, 1898 in Stephentown, the daughter of William Henry and Florence Carr. Her father lost his life when fire destroyed their Stephentown home 14 years ago. Myron Carr was born in Hillsdale, Mich., June 16, 1891, the son of Elbert E. and Amelia Flint Carr. Services for Mrs. Littlefield will be Sunday afternoon at 2:30 at the Petersburg Baptist Church with the Rev. Floyd R. Sheeley officiating. Burial will be in Meadowlawn Cemetery. Services for Miss Carr and Mrs. Carr will be held at 2 Monday afternoon at the Hall & Higgins Funeral Home, Stephentown, with the Rev. Oscar A. Arnold officiating. Burial will be in Garfield Cemetery. Friday, March 13, 1959 Stephentown Farmer Killed As Fire Levels Farm House

Berkshire Eagle Wednesday January 16, 1952

Stephentown, NY – Milton George Carpenter, 69 year old farmer, was trapped in his flaming house and died of burns early this morning. Fire broke out near a kerosene stove in the kitchen and the flames spread rapidly through one section of the swelling, including Mr. Carpenter's bedroom where he was trapped. Volunteers from the Stephentown Fire Department responded to the call shortly before 6 AM but the blaze had gained too much headway to save the structure from being destroyed. Mr. Carpenter, who was single, lived alone in the 10 room, two-story house. His body was removed to the Hall & Higgins Funeral Home where services will be held Monday afternoon at 2 PM with Rev. Samuel A. Walker, pastor of the Hancock Baptist Church, officiating. Burial will be in the Cemetery of the Evergreens (Lebanon Springs, NY) Mr. Carpenter had been a farmer here for about five years. Prior to that he was employed at the Pittsfield works of the General Electric Company and at the Harder Electric Shop on Eagle Street in Pittsfield. He was born in this town Jan. 4, 1883, son of George H. and Mary Kittell Carpenter. He leaves two sisters, Mrs. Walter W. Lewis and Mrs. Mabelle C. Ferris of 1675 Wendell Avenue, Schenectady, NY; two nieces, Miss Eleanor Lewis, director of Christian Education at the South Congregational Church in Pittsfield and Miss Caroline Lewis of Schenectady.

Cranston Mansion: located on Cranston Hill Road. The mansion had 17 rooms, including 2 1/2 baths and four open fireplaces; it burned in the mid 1930's.

The Old Grange Hall burned down and was rebuilt. The new building now serves as the Town Hall (This caption was written about 1977. The Town Hall was remodeled in the 1990's)

The Freling Smith residence on Garfield Road was destroyed by fire in 1975

Aerial view of the Sutherland farm on Sutherland Road. House and barns burned in 1975-6