University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame
Brother Aidan's Extracts


The members of the fire company shall be Brothers Vincent and Joseph to procure buckets, Brother Lawrence and Mary (Francis Xavier) to procure axes and superintend the necessary cutting; Brothers Theodulus and Patrick to procure candles; Brothers Thomas and Dominic to attend the formation of a chain to carry water. Council of Administration, 1846

Brother Mary shall make the ladders necessary in case of fire.

Brother Vincent shall try to find a pipe for the fire engine.

When a fire destroyed all the food at Notre Dame in 1848, Mrs. Coquillard and Mrs. Woodworth took up a collection among the antagonistic South Benders for the hungry priests and Brothers. SCHOLASTIC 53: 18,282, 1849

"Our loss from this fire is 16,000 francs. Our neighbors, Protestants and infidels, hastened to lend us aid. Two ladies of South Bend have started a collection for our poor orphans which was to last a whole week." Sorin's Letter to Curi in France, November 9, 1849 -- SCHOLASTIC, 53: 18,282

After hard efforts farm hands' house only 20' off was saved. Happily wind did not blow toward barn or loss would have been double. Flames shot up 50'. Air was filled with sparks which were carried towards the college and church. For nearly an hour they left a veritable rain on roofs of these buildings. Had they taken fire Notre Dame would have been finished. The cold would have prevented any hope of saving anything. The Blessed Virgin no doubt didn't permit al this work to be wiped out at one stroke and so Notre Dame continued to live." Sorin's Chronicles, 1856

"Year 1857 remarkable for growth of college. Nearly 200 students for ten months, a large number of whom belonged to the better class. More order and respect for rules, discipline better and confreres more regular. University gained more than in any preceding year." Sorin's Chronicles

Some pails of water should be kept in the garnet every night in case of accident. A free access to the roof of the college should be managed from inside the garret." Local Council, 1856

Two axes, some hooks and rope should be kept apart in a safe place in case of fire. 1857

A petition was respectfully made to the Ver. Rev. Fr. Provincial and his council to consider the granting of extraordinary expenses necessary to rebuild the University destroyed by fire on April 23rd. Amount asked, $58,000. Local Council, May 14, 1879

State aid asked for Notre Dame after the fire of 1879. The amount was to be repaid by scholarships. Wabash (Presbyterian) and De Pauw (Methodist) burned down, state gave $20,000 each, taken out in scholarships. In 1879 Notre Dame would like similar help, Scholastic points out. South Bend Herald asks justice for Notre Dame.

Sunday afternoon, November 6, 1887. A fire broke out in the Novitiate. Origin probably a defective flue. Students formed a bucket line from lake and rendered best possible service. Contents of building was saved. Roof and whole interior destroyed, loss about $25,000 not covered by insurance. 1887

‹— Brother Aidan's Extracts —›