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Newspaper Page Text
A PAGE TORN FROM HISTORY.
THE SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCEB, SATURDAY, JUNE 6, 1891. and then came the memorable fire of June 6, 1889. From 3 o'clock in the afternoon the business portion of the young city was a seething mass of flames. Block after block was consumed. The people watched with anxious eyes the course of the destructive element. "It will stop at the T., S. & Co. block," was the uttered hope. Every person cen tered their thoughts on this point. The magnificent building! The great and costly stock of goods! The pride of the city! Surely the flames would be checked before they reached here. Steadily onward came the flames. They hesitated a moment, then a thin ribbon of red began licking its way up the windows. A few moments later the cry went out, "The 'Frisco store's on fire," and with it sounded the doom of the rest of the city. June 7 a mass of smoking ruins marked the spot where Seattle's great dry goods establishment had stood. A pile of twisted iron beams and broken bricks were the em blems of a loss of $600,000. Taken as a type, the history of this house may be aptly applied to Seattle's wonderful commercial growth. Fourteen years previous to the great fire, in a small frame store with a stock valued at $2,000, the first start was made. From this humble beginning came the great establishment that is now the mercantile wonder of the Pacific coast In fourteen years the business had increased from $2,000 in stock to the loss of $600,000 suffered in the fire. Now, after this great blow, comes the interesting feature of the house that has com manded the praise and respect of the commercial world of the entire United States. Within three months after the destruction of their establishment Toklas, Singerman 8c Co. had resumed business, with a stock of goods valued at in a frame building at the corner of Third and Madison streets. & One June 6, 1890, at the exact moment of the first anniversary of the great fire, they were at home again to their old friends at the old place, corner of Front and Columbia streets. A larger building had been constructed and filled with a stock of goods valued at $600,000 within the year. Their opening day, celebrating the fire, was an event chronicled throughout the country. It has become a part of the history of the great fire. January 1, 1891, Toklas, Singerman & Co., in reviewing the year, announced that they had done double the business they had ever known in the same length of time; that their force of employes, considerably over 100 in number, was larger than ever before, and that they carried a more valuable stock of goods than before the fire. The history of this house shows, more than any one thing else could, the pluck and energy of the Seattle merchant and the wonderful commercial advantages that Seattle enjoys. Of course, it will be appreciated that such a business as that conducted by Messrs. Toklas, Singerman & Co. is the result of having the popular support and confidence of the public, which is only obtained by scrupulous and untiring efforts in their behalf. Such has been the history of the largest retail dry goods establishment in the state of Washington, and such a history will be found repeated, in a proportionate degree, in all of the merchants of Seattle who went through the great fire of June 6, 1889. It certainly is a magnificent showing, and one which reflects great credit on the integrity and enterprise of HISTORY OF SEATTLE. 3 n