Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Murwillumbah Was Quick to Rebuild and to Celebrate; BLAZING AHEAD: After the Disastrous 1907 Fire Tweed's Main Town Found a New Lease of Life

Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Murwillumbah Was Quick to Rebuild and to Celebrate; BLAZING AHEAD: After the Disastrous 1907 Fire Tweed's Main Town Found a New Lease of Life

Article excerpt

Byline: LOOKING BACK Di Millar

THE huge fire that destroyed much of Murwillumbah's main business street on Sunday, 15 September, 1907, has been well documented.

Headlines at the time declared "Murwillumbah devastated by fire fienda, "Sixty business premises destroyeda and "The main street wiped out."

No time was wasted in undertaking a major rebuilding program. Murwillumbah Street, the town's main business thoroughfare more commonly referred to as its main street, was widened to 70 feet after business owners agreed to give up several feet of land on each side of the street to Murwillumbah Town Council.

While wood was still used in building construction, more brick buildings were erected in the town. After the fire it was noted that not a single business changed hands. The business houses were rebuilt and opened with renewed optimism in Murwillumbah's economic future and at the time the new premises were described as being up-to-date and showing architectural beauty.

The NSW Government moved more slowly however and the only buildings not standing in the town were official ones.

By July 1908, arrangements were being made by Murwillumbah's residents to commemorate the apluck, energy and resourcea of the inhabitants in quickly rebuilding the town after its destruction by fire only 12 months earlier.

A program was yet to be finalised but one suggestion put forward was for the town's religious bodies to hold a combined thanksgiving service on the Sunday before Tuesday, September 15 in either a public hall or the town park.

There were ideas for a procession, sports day and evening entertainment to be held on the Tuesday when the town would be decorated by day and lit up at night. A prize of ten pounds was offered for the most unique aturnouta in the procession aeither of a symbolic or emblematical nature."

Crowds arrived early on a beautiful Tuesday morning from all parts of the district.

By lunch time Murwillumbah had a record number of visitors lining the street and taking up every available vantage point for the start of the procession. …

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