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Fire at Wingate Hall, Orono, 1943

Contributed by Hose 5 Fire Museum
MMN Item 14884 Item Details
Fire at Wingate Hall, Orono, 1943
MMN Item 14884 Zoom


Fire at Wingate Hall at the University of Maine in Orono, Feb. 17, 1943.

"The third oldest building on campus, Wingate was built in 1892 on the same site as White Hall, the first building on campus. Wingate was designed by noted Bangor architect, Frank Kidder. Perhaps foretelling, White Hall burned in 1890. Wingate suffered a similar fate on February 16, 1943.

"At the time of the fire, Wingate housed civil engineering, engineering drafting, physics, the Technology Experiment Station, and the offices of the Dean of Technology.

"Fourteen at the time, son Paul [Cloke] remembers that his father had gone to lunch at Merrill Hall, after working all morning on an important speech. On coming out of Merrill, he saw smoke and immediately recognized that it must be Wingate. One of his first thoughts was that his morning work was literally "up in smoke." To his surprise, the engineering students had moved everything from his office to Lord Hall, and carefully placed his speech back on his desk, just like he had left it! Others were not so fortunate. Civil engineering alum, Russ Bodwell '44, recalls that spouse Barbara (Higgins) Bodwell '45, lost her drafting tools in the fire and had to borrow his for the rest of the year. "
(UMaine Engineering-Cloke Plaza Project webpage)

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