Limited Editions: Group makes prints of old-time fires available for fundraiser

Published on Saturday, 7 December 2013 23:30 - Written by From Staff Reports

The East Texas Historical Fire Society is selling prints depicting scenes from the Smith County firefighting history: a 1910 fire that destroyed businesses in downtown Tyler and a 1907 fire that destroyed Grand Opera House.

The limited-edition prints by artist Ed Williams sell for $30 each. They are numbered, signed and come with a certificate of authenticity and information about the scene depicted.

Proceeds will be used to fund projects of the fire society, said David Crim, member. To purchase a print, con-tact Crim at 903-561-0655.

The downtown Tyler fire broke out on Nov. 14, 1910, at the Parker & Pinkerton Store on North Broadway Avenue. The print depicts the early stages of the fire and volunteer firefighters arriving. According to the society, the blaze spread to and destroyed offices housing the Tyler Courier-Times and the I.H. Crutcher & Son business, storage buildings, a stable and blacksmith shop. It was one of the biggest fires ever in Tyler.

The Grand Opera House was in the 100 block of South Spring Avenue in Tyler. With seating for 660, it rivaled fine opera houses in Dallas and was a showcase for the best entertainers of the day.

Shortly after midnight on April 6, 1907, fire broke outand destroyed the opera house and the nearby Durst-Bergfeld Building. Historians said the fire helped convince local leaders of the need for a paid city fire department.