Historical Society of
Mount Airy, Maryland, Inc.
History of fires
Mount Airy has had over 20 fires near, or along, Main Street in the 100 years of the 20th century. Many of the fires destroyed large portions of the town and were the result of negligence, unknown cause, or outright arson.
Prior to 1903, most buildings were timber-framed structures, which burned easily. The Mount Airy winds helped spread fires and, until the construction of the Mount Airy ice pond, the town had an insufficient water supply to combat fires.
Pictured below are images captured of some of the earliest fires.
Come to the museum to learn more about our fires and how the town continued to rebuild and became the "town that wouldn't die."
Bakery in 1903 fire
Aftermath of 1925 fire
1969 Mill fire on Main Street
Information on the Mill fire can be seen in the Mills display.
Beyond the Museum