The Virginia Gazette

Today in the 1770s: October 31

WILLIAMSBURG, October 31, 1771.
Last Monday evening a fire broke out in a blacksmith's shop belonging to Mr. Charles Taliaferro, which, notwithstanding every means were used to prevent it, burnt entirely to the ground, and flames communicating to a shed adjoining, destroyed two chariots, a very fine horse, the woodwork of several chairs, and all the tools.

Virginia Gazette (Rind) October 31, 1771

About this entry:

One of the outbuildings on coachmaker Charles Taliaferro's property was a forge. It was supposed that a spark from the forge got into the loft and started the fire. Taliaferro (pronounced Tolliver) had been in business in Williamsburg for at least ten years by 1771. His business recovered from the unfortunate fire, and he branched out during the Revolution to brewing beer and selling a variety of merchandise from "his store opposite the Church wall" on the Duke of Gloucester St.

Sources: WAR, CWRR 1282

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