Great Fire of 1909


On December 24, 1909, the DU house nearly burned to the ground. Fortunately, few brothers were in the house, and no one was harmed in the blaze. The Cornell Alumni News (Jan. 30, 1910) described a devastating fire; even The New York Times deemed it news that was “fit to print.”

Christmas Eve Fire of 1909

Cornell Alumni News, Jan. 30, 1910

DU Fire (Cont.)

Second page of Cornell Alumni News article, Jan. 30, 1910

NY Times Report on Fire - Dec. 25, 1909

Besides the 1909 fire that virtually destroyed the original house, two more fires were to strike the DU house: a minor fire in the basement in 1916, and a more devastating fire in 1919. Many DUs are familiar with the 1909 fire; these other fires were unknown to all.

Go to the next chapter – “DU Rebuilds 1910”