Starting Point

J. Frank Green's hay shed at the start of the Bangor Fire. Fire fighters and citizens help with the hoses. Soon, the fire would be out of control.

Kenduskeag View

The 1911 Fire burns in 3 places as seen from the Kenduskeag. It started near the burning structure on the left and quicky jumped the stream, propelled by gusty winds.

State Street Bridge

Pedestrians walk over the State Street bridge in what remains of downtown Bangor. The debris of Bangor Savings Bank is on the right, with the burned out Customs House on the left.

Bangor Savings Bank

An unidentified man stands in front of the building housing Bangor Savings Bank, the Bangor Historical Society and the Bangor Public Library near the Kenduskeag Stream on State Street.


After the fire, the job of cleanup and reconstruction was immense. This man walks along State Street, the ruins of Bangor Savings Bank and the Morse Oliver building behind him.

Universalist Church Before

The Universalist Church on Park Street hill, before the fire. Center Park is in the foreground.

Universalist Church Ruins

The ruins of the Universalist Church on Park Street hill after the 1911 Fire. The church was later rebuilt from the surviving shell, but without its two steeples.

Graham Block Before

The Graham Block on the corner of Central and Harlow streets, before the fire.

Graham Block Ruins

The remains of the Graham Block, with the Universalist Church beyond.

Graham Block Rebuilt

The new Graham Building under construction on the corner of Harlow and Central streets.

Clean up on Exchange St.

Clean up along Exchange Street. The remains of the Morse Oliver building stands at the right, while the fire's stopping point, the Nichols Block, is on the left. The tower of Union Station is seen at the end of the street.

Morse Oliver Building

The Morse Oliver Building, on the corner of State and Exchange streets. At the time of the 1911 Fire it was Bangor's tallest building at seven stories.


Pedestrians, including a military cadet from the University of Maine, view the damage.

First Congregational Church

The First Congregational Church and Parsonage, at the corner of Broadway and State streets, before the fire.

Rebuilt All Souls

The rebuilt All Souls Congregational Church at the corner of Broadway and State streets.


Families survey the destruction along Broadway, one of many neighborhoods destroyed by the fire.

Broadway and State

Surveying the losses in the vicinity of Broadway and State streets.

Customs House and Post Office Before

Bangor's Customs House and Post Office, before the fire. Located on an island in the Kenduskeag Stream, and across the street from Bangor Savings Bank, its position was at the heart of the fire downtown.

Tarratine Club Survives

The ruins of the fire, including views of State, Harlow and Park strrets. The Customs House is in the foregound (left) with the Universalist Church beyond. The surviving Tarratine Club can be seen on Park Street hill to the right of the church.

Norumbega Before

Norumbega Hall, on an island in the middle of the Kenduskeag Stream, before the fire. By 1911 this grand building was being used as a furniture store and storage but in its prime it accomodated crowds of thousands for memorable gatherings. A park exists on the site today, part of a post-fire planned firebreak.

Franklin St. Bridge

Children pose on the Franklin Street bridge over the Kenduskeag Stream. Behind them are the ruins of the Graham Block (left) and the Customs House (right).

Franklin St.

Pedestrians along Franklin Street and the Franklin Street bridge.

Interactive map of the Great Bangor Fire and its effect. Roll over each location to see photos of affected buildings.

Great Fire of Bangor

The 1911 Fire burns in 3 places as seen from the Kenduskeag. It started near the burning structure on the left and quicky jumped the stream, propelled by gusty winds.

Images of Bangor’s Great Fire of 1911

on April 29, 2011, at 3:08 p.m.

A city rebuilt from ashes: Bangor’s Great Fire of 1911 remembered

By Eric Russell on April 29, 2011, at 11:59 a.m.
The biggest historical event in Bangor’s history exists now in faded, black-and-white photographs and in stories passed down through generations where the line between truth and mythology is blurred. Some facts about the Great Fire of 1911, though, are generally agreed upon. The blaze ignited in a hay shed on …

Brewer Scouts won acclaim for their work during Bangor’s Great Fire

By Nok-Noi Ricker on April 29, 2011, at 11:55 a.m.
The Brewer Congregational Scouts, now known as Boy Scout Troop 1 in Brewer, were called into action during Bangor’s Great Fire 100 years ago to guard the city — at one point even turning away the governor when he tried to tour the damaged downtown. “An organized unit, with uniforms, …

Rebirth and rebuilding

By Dick Shaw on April 29, 2011, at 11:54 a.m.
While the downtown fire district smoldered, there were hopeful signs that Bangor would weather the worst disaster in its 142-year history. Buoyed by a hopeful nation and the words of Mayor Charles Mullen, who forecast a swift rebuilding, the Queen City set out to put the Great Fire behind it …

Fighting The Fire

By Dick Shaw on April 29, 2011, at 11:53 a.m.
All the training in the world could not have prepared Bangor firefighters for the April 30, 1911 disaster. A “perfect storm” of events that included a relentless southerly wind and a serious spring drought tested the men’s endurance. At first, the ringing of Box 24 on lower Broad Street around …


By Dick Shaw on April 29, 2011, at 11:48 a.m.
On Monday, May 1, Bangor residents woke up to a city transformed. In an eight-hour window, fire had claimed 100 businesses, 267 dwellings, six churches, a synagogue, the high school, post office and customs house, the library, historical society, and Norumbega Hall. And that was just the beginning of the …

The 1911 Bangor Fire

By Dick Shaw on April 29, 2011, at 11:46 a.m.
The Great Bangor Fire of April 30, 1911, turned a pleasant Sunday afternoon into Dante’s Inferno for the Queen City’s 25,000 residents. Possibly ignited by smokers at J. Frank Green’s hay shed on lower Broad Street, flames jumped the Kenduskeag Stream onto Exchange Street and raged for eight hours before …