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Sebright (The Arthurs Tragedy)

Ontario : Ramara
Location #2301

Location Owner:clay70
Creation Date: 1/20/2011
Last Updated: 4/28/2012

Originally called Young's Settlement here is a history of the village:

The Arthurs Tragedy (courtesy C. Fraser and Gabrielle Lotimer)

The following gruesome account of a house fire was written at a time when words instead of pictures were used to convey the suffering and anguish of victims. Orillia Packet Feb. 24 1898


Three persons burned to death.

On Sunday night about 12 o'clock, Mr. James Arthurs, whose farm is three miles north of Sebright and nearly 20 miles from Orillia was awakened by the cries of his son, James, who slept in the attic. He found that the house was in flames, and ran outside to endeavor to rescue his son. But his efforts were unsuccessful, owing to there being no outside opening to the attic, and he was forced to desist when his left hand and head had been severely burned. James was 27 years of age.

Mrs. Arthurs also sprang up and ran out to render any assistance in her power, but finding that the flames were gaining rapidly she ran back, to save her 9 year old son Archie, who slept in the room with his parents. In this she failed and both perished.

There were two bedrooms opening off the kitchen in one of which Mr. and Mrs. Arthurs and their son slept. The other was occupied by their daughter Agnes, aged 18. She attempted to escape through the kitchen but was driven back by the flames. She then broke the window and got out that way. She next ran two or three times into the barn and back before she seems to have collected her thoughts, when she ran 300 yards to the home of Richard McFayden, to summon help. She was terribly burned from the feet to the hips, in the head, shoulders and breasts. The path where she walked over the snow was marked with blood, and when she reached Mr. McFayden's the flesh came off the soles of her feet, like a pair of sandals leaving the bones bare......The bodies of Mrs. Arthurs and her two sons were burned to a crisp, and could all be placed into a bushel basket...Agnes, the girl who was so badly burned, is still alive but there is little hope of recovery." [she died 2 days later]

James Arthurs married Agnes Taylor in King Twp. York County. She was born just west of Nobleton. They had a number of chilren, Christina 1865, Jane 1867, Margaret Ann 1972, James 1872, Malcolm 1875, Joseph 1877 and moved from King to Wood Twp. Muskoka before 1881

1891 Census of Canada

Name: James Arthurs
Gender: Male
Marital Status: Married
Age: 49
Birth Year: abt 1842
Birthplace: Ontario
Relation to Head of House: Head
Religion: Free Church
French Canadian: No
Father's Birth Place: Ireland
Mother's Birth Place: Ireland
Province: Ontario
District Number: 100
District: Ontario North
Subdistrict: Rama

Household Members:

Name Age
James Arthurs 49
Agnes Arthurs 45
James Arthurs 18
Malcolm Arthurs 16
Joseph Arthurs 13
Hugh Arthurs 11
Agnes Arthurs 9
Edith Arthurs 6
Archibald Arthurs 3

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Sebright (The Arthurs Tragedy)
Created on:6/24/2015
Created by: AlexS
10 photos
Caved in home Apr 28/2012
Sebright (The Arthurs Tragedy)
Created on:4/28/2012
Created by: rnagle
25 photos
Sebright Area
Sebright (The Arthurs Tragedy)
Created on:1/20/2011
Created by: clay70
8 photos


Status: Demolished
Category: House or Farm

Links: History of Sebright


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timo explorer says:
9/16/2012 6:49:53 PM

Went past here today. It has been completely leveled and removed, nothing remains but a flat spot of debris.

rnagle says:
4/28/2012 8:33:00 PM

What a difference a year+ makes, stopped by this evening for a quick photo visit. This old home may not stand much longer!

timo explorer says:
1/21/2011 1:07:10 AM

Had this one on my "to do" list. I have been past here quite a few times and always wanted to stop and look around.

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On 6/25/2015 11:07:58 AM user timo explorer moved gallery titled "Cherokee House" from location #12286
On 9/24/2014 5:13:32 PM user ground state changed the following: description
On 10/15/2012 7:55:14 PM user clay70 changed the following: location name,
On 9/16/2012 6:50:08 PM user timo explorer changed the following: location status,
On 8/7/2012 5:27:05 PM user clay70 changed the following: links,
On 4/28/2012 8:49:09 PM user rnagle uploaded photos : Sebright house 21.jpg / Sebright house 22.jpg / Sebright house 23.jpg / Sebright house 24.jpg / Sebright house 25.jpg / to SID: 2301rnag260
On 4/28/2012 8:41:43 PM user rnagle uploaded photos : Sebright house 11.jpg / Sebright house 12.jpg / Sebright house 13.jpg / Sebright house 14.jpg / Sebright house 15.jpg / Sebright house 16.jpg / Sebright house 17.jpg / Sebright house 18.jpg / Sebright house 19.jpg / Sebright house 20.jpg / to SID: 2301rnag260
On 4/28/2012 8:30:38 PM user rnagle uploaded photos : Sebright house 1.jpg / Sebright house 2.jpg / Sebright house 3.jpg / Sebright house 4.jpg / Sebright house 5.jpg / Sebright house 6.jpg / Sebright house 7.jpg / Sebright house 8.jpg / Sebright house 9.jpg / Sebright house 10.jpg / to SID: 2301rnag260
On 4/28/2012 8:26:16 PM user rnagle created gallery : Collapsed house Apr 28/2012

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