1901 Fire Victim Finds Family

Joy Hollowell

Updated 3 years ago

Bangor recently recognized the Great Fire of 1911.But Sunday marked the anniversary of another tragic fire in downtown Bangor.As Joy Hollowell reports, a cemetery service will be held this Friday for one of the victims, 110 years after she was killed.===Renee Perron gets a kick out of researching her family history on line. She had run into a road block though, on her father’s side of the family.”But recently, a death certificate had come up, all of a sudden, on my father’s great aunt Ellen Haney,” says Perron.It read that the 30-year old burned to death in a fire on October 16th, 1901 at 16 Harlow Street in Bangor.”I thought it was fascinating,” says Perron. “So I went down to the Bangor Public Library and brought up the Bangor Daily News. And right on the front page is her picture.”Nellie, as she was called, lived on the second floor. She was home that afternoon, preparing lunch.”There was just a massive explosion,” explains Perron.Haney, along with two other tenants, were unable to escape. “The article is very moving,” says Perron. “It says that they could hear the women’s piteous cries for help as tears ran down the cheeks of the firemen.”Perron learned her great, great aunt was buried at Mount Pleasant Catholic Cemetery in Bangor. She also found out the grave was unmarked. “And once my Dad found out, he said- well, you can’t just leave it like that,” says Perron.Last weekend, Perron and her relatives placed a newly purchased stone at Haney’s gravesite. “When I went over there for the first time by myself looking for it, I went to the edge of the road,” says Perron. “And all of a sudden this woodpecker was going crazy on this tree. And then it followed me to the tree that she is buried under. And I said, well, maybe this is a sign. Nellie is pointing me in the right direction, probably saying- what took you people so long (laughs)” ====Friday afternoon, the family will hold a service at the cemetery, complete with a blessing by a local Catholic priest.That will be followed by a “good old fashioned irish wake,” as Perron calls it, since both of Nellie Haney’s parents came over from Ireland.Perron is interested in finding other Haney relatives in the area. You can email her at perron192@adelphia.net.


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