Was the 1906 Fire in Sodus a Result of Arson?


1906 was a bad year for Sodus. Constable Pullman was murdered. A train wreck occurred near where the train depot is located. Thirdly, a fire destroyed several buildings on the north east  corner of East Main Street.

Here Sandi Hamilton presents some evidence that this fire may have been the result of arson. It is important to note that no suspect was ever brought to justice…

I  came across this article in the digital archives from The Record, Friday, November 6th, 1903. I found a couple of interesting points. It’s suggested in the article that the fire was set. In Dick Ransley’s interview of Ray Cole, both men commented that their fathers had heard that the 1906 East Main Street fire in the Village of Sodus had been set. If it was, it’s amazing the “fire bug” waited 3 years to try again. Another interesting point in the article…it refers to the Kelly and Wood hotels. Shirley Patchett confirmed that Mr. Kelly was Dan’s grandfather, but she never heard that Woods were connected with the hotel. But there was a barn behind the hotel where Mr. Woods kept his horses.

Sandi Hamilton

Click the link below (use the + and – buttons to zoom in and out) and you can read the 1903 article (Who is the Fire Bug) Sandi refers to:

Record, Page1, 1903-11-06


There is also some evidence and belief at the time that the 1912 Sodus Fire may have also resulted from arson as well.  Bette Bugni found a Jan. 17, 1913 article in the Sodus Record.

Record 1/17/1913 page 4—-proceedings were started for “John Doe” because of the recent fires they used the term incendiaries. Justice of the Peace was George Hendricks. Case was adjourned until 2/14/1913.

Couldn’t find any more about the case.


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