Salubria's Fire

H. F. Johnson

The fire which partially destroyed the flourishing little town of Salubria occurred on the evening of April 28, 1891.

Hark! hear the sounds, the lurid glare
That bursts upon the midnight air!
Startling the people far and near,
Who wake from sleep with trembling fear,
To learn with sad forebodings dire,
Salubria City is on fire.
The fire fiend in his wrath appears,
And wealth, the toil of many years,
Accumulated day by day,
In heaps and smoldering ruins lay.
'Twas on April the twenty-eighth,
Some friends had met with joy elate,
To list to music soft and sweet,
And "chase the hours with flying feet,
Scarce dreaming in their great delight,
What dire distress would close the night.
Without, the wind in fretful gusts
Upon the quiet city bursts.
The hall was shaken by the wind,
The lamp swung to and fro within,
When all at once the lamp gave way.
Upon the floor the fragments lay.
The burning oil, a fiery sheet,
Spread o'er the hall and round their feet.
No power at hand could check the fiame,
But onward like a fiend it came.
The Idaho Citizen was first consumed
With all the contents of the room.
Then down the fiery demon swings
Hearing destruction on his wings.
Till Shaw's drug store with all its wealth,
And drygoods, groceries none is left.
The millinery store of Mrs. Shaw,
That did the public custom draw,
Was all consumed, no hand could save
Those treasures from the fiery wave.
Some seven thousand dollars 'tis said,
Of wealth composed this fiery bed.
Two thousand dollars was the whole
Insurance on the same we're told.
But still the work was not yet done,
Destruction's fiery tide rolled on.
Across the street the lurid flame
Like waves of liquid fire came.

. . .

While upward rises the victors' shout
"The flames are checked and dying out."
While sadness like a shadow falls
Upon the hearts and minds of all,
For fifty thousand dollars must
Have perished in this holocaust.
This wealth consumed is felt by all
Throughout the land, both great and small,
But then we know what pluck will do,
For men of nerve and women too,
They'll scorn misfortune's withering blight
And rise again to greet the light.
With courage true they will reclaim
The wealth they lost by fiery flame.
And young Salubria yet will rise
Upward to greet the sunny skies,
And stand in nature's beauty blessed.
The queen within the growing West.