The Fire of 1910 Bibliography

 Updated March 20, 2012 by Pati Threatt

On Saturday afternoon, April 23, 1910, a fire destroyed seven city blocks in Lake Charles, Louisiana causing over $750,000 in property damage. The fire started behind a row of buildings on Ryan Street including the unoccupied Opera House, Gunn's Bookstore, and a soft drink stand. The fire spread down Ryan Street to the Catholic Church and the Courthouse, eventually destroying a swath of downtown two blocks wide and half a mile long to the southeast. The fire raged for four hours and consumed 109 buildings. Many commercial buildings and residences were destroyed, as well as the City Hall and the Catholic church, rectory, convent, and school.

Note: The City of Lake Charles will commemorate the 1910 Fire with an exhibit beginning April 9, 2010 and a lecture and walking tour on April 24, 2010. For more information, see the 1911 Historic City Hall Arts & Cultural Center website.

All locations refer to McNeese State University, Frazar Memorial Library. 
Materials in Archives and Special Collections Department do not circulate.

Books | Newspaper articles | Maps | Photographs, Digital Images, and Videos  | Manuscript Collections

Books

The following books offer significant information about the fire.  

Barras, Lloyd G. Lake Charles Street Names and other memorabilia of the Lake City. Sulphur, La.: Wise Printing, 1992. Electronic version available:  http://ereserves.mcneese.edu/depts/archive/FTBooks/barras.htm

 Location:  F379.L2 B377 1992 (Main Stacks & Special Collections)

Cagle, R. Brantley. The Political Development of the City of Lake Charles, 1890-1930. MA Thesis. Louisiana State University, 1967. Electronic version available:  http://ereserves.mcneese.edu/depts/archive/FTBooks/cagle.htm

 Location: F379.L2 C34 1967A (Main Stacks & Special Collections)

Ferguson, Stewart. The History of Lake Charles. MA Thesis. Louisiana State University, 1931. Electronic version available:  http://ereserves.mcneese.edu/depts/archive/FTBooks/ferguson.htm

 Location:  F379.L2 F47 (Main Stacks & Special Collections)

Millet, Donald J., Sr., Ed. The Centennial history of Lake Charles, 1867-1967. Lake Charles, La.: Lake Charles Letter Shop, 1967. Electronic version available:  http://ereserves.mcneese.edu/depts/archive/FTBooks/centennial.htm

 Location: F379.L2 C4 (Main Stacks & Special Collections) 

Millet, Donald J., Sr. and Elaine B. Bodin, Eds. The First Hundred Years: 1882 - 1982. The Centennial of Catholic Education in "Imperial" Calcasieu. Lake Charles, La.: Alta Printing Company, Inc., 1982. Electronic version available:  http://ereserves.mcneese.edu/depts/archive/FTBooks/catholic education.htm

 Location: LC502.L8 F57 (Main Stacks & Special Collections)

Photographs, Digital Images, and Videos

For digital images from various collections in the McNeese Archives & Special Collections Department, please visit the LOUISiana Digital Library (perform an advanced search for the exact phrase "Lake Charles (La.)--Fire, 1910"). 

The Dorothy Barbe Hanchey Collection, Collection No. 249, Archives and Special Collections Department, Frazar Memorial Library, McNeese State University. Contains several amateur photographs of the aftermath of the fire. Finding aid available: http://ereserves.mcneese.edu/depts/archive/hanchey249.htm. Some of the fire photos are available here: Hanchey Fire Photos.

Louisiana Public Broadcasting's "Louisiana: The State We're In" featured a story about Lake Charles' Commemoration of the Great Fire of 1910. Access the video here.

Newspaper articles 

For newspaper articles, search The New Orleans Times-Picayune (The Daily Picayune)*, The (Lake Charles) American Press, and The New York Times. Some newspaper articles available in Pamphlet folder 560, Archives and Special Collections Department, Frazar Memorial Library, McNeese State University.  

* Members of the McNeese community may search the Times-Picayune through America's Historical Newspapers, available from the Library's database page at http://libguides.mcneese.edu/databases.

Maps

The Fire of 1910 in Lake Charles, La. A Google map showing the approximate area of destruction and some of the buildings destroyed. Available here.

Sanborn Fire Insurance Map [February 1909]. Available to Members of the McNeese community from the Library's database page at http://libguides.mcneese.edu/databases.

Manuscript Collections 

The Lake Charles City Records, Collection No. 7, Archives and Special Collections Department, Frazar Memorial Library, McNeese State University. Box 6 contains minutes of meetings the City Council held around the time of the fire. Finding aid available: http://ereserves.mcneese.edu/depts/archive/lccity007.htm

The Maude Reid Scrapbooks, Collection No. 11, Archives and Special Collections Department, Frazar Memorial Library, McNeese State University. Scrapbook Number 6 contains photographs, newspaper clippings, and personal recollections about the fire. Finding aid available: http://ereserves.mcneese.edu/depts/archive/reid011.htm

The John McNeese Collection, Collection No. 31, Archives and Special Collections Department, Frazar Memorial Library, McNeese State University. Contains letters from John McNeese to his daughter Emma McNeese Squires regarding the fire. Finding aid available: http://ereserves.mcneese.edu/depts/archive/pdfs/Mcneesejohn031.pdf.

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