This Day in History: 1942-01-11
The historic home of John Y. Dater was completely destroyed in a nighttime fire. Despite the efforts of 45 members of the Ramsey Fire Department, little of the valuable antiques, family moments and personal possessions of Mr. and Mrs. Dater and their two servants could be said. The fire apparently started in the chimney in the basement and quickly spread to the second floor and the attic. Ella Pearson, the Dater’s cook smelled fire and her brother Ronam the butler roused the Daters. All four were able to escape with only the clothes they were wearing into the very cold night air. The house, which stood at the corner of Main Street and Central Avenue, had been built by Senator John Y. Dater, the grandfather of Mr. Dater. Among the items lost to the flames were linen sheets woven on hand looms by Mrs. Dater’s grandmother’s slaves, rare coverettes, a set of pewter which had been buried during the Revolution to protect it from being found by the British and a four post bed said to be worth $5,000. The Dater’s were given temporary shelter by Dr. and Mrs. Lutz and then moved into a rented furnished house on South Central Avenue. They praised the work of the firemen and thanked them for their valiant efforts to save their home. There were no plans to rebuild the gutted home.