Two articles about the Harvieston Farm fire

Dundee Courier 31 January 1902, PAGE 4.


A disastrous farm fire broke out on the farm at Harvieston, near Catterline, about six miles south of Stonehaven, yesterday (Thursday) forenoon.

It appears that while one of the domestic servants was engaged in lighting a boiler fire in the granary, an infant son* of one of the tenants (a child only three years of age. NOTE: This would have been Alexander Silver's son James born 15 Mar 1898. About 1920, he emigrated to Australia where he died in 1973.) secured the box of matches and commenced playing with them.

The main house at Harvieston farm. Image Warren Nunn 2004.

In taking the matches from the box they became ignited and fell amongst some combustible material. In an incredibly short space of time the granary, in which there were 100 quarters of grain and 80 quarters of straw, which had been stored only a day or two previously WAS ABLAZE.

Mr A. Silver, one of the join tenants, was in Stonehaven market when the outbreak occurred, but the other tenant, Mr John Silver, was at home, and he, together with Mr Adam Watt, farmer, Hilton, Mr Cooper, Coastguard officer, Catterline, and three of his men were quickly on the scene, and made a determined effort to prevent the flames from spreading.

At the same time attempts were made to liberate the 80 head of cattle in the byres, and the 8 horse that remained in the stable. These efforts were attended with great difficulty, for the fire spread so fast and the smoke rolled with such increasing density that the poor animals became bewildered. Twelve fat cattle and a fine bull, which was valued at 30 pounds, refused absolutely to leave the burning byres and PERISHED IN THE FLAMES.

Their carcases were burned to a cinder. Energetic efforts were next directed to the isolation of that portion of the building which still remained untouched, and, thanks to the fine walls, a portion of the steading was saved. Ere this was accomplished, however, damage to the extent of fully 2000 pounds had been done.

Amongst the furnishings destroyed was a very fine threshing mill of the most moder design, valued at 160 pounds.


It may be mentioned that the farm steading of Harvieston was of recent erection, and was reckoned amongst the finest in the county. The steading belonged to the Montrose Educational Trust, have been purchased by the Town Council out of the legacy left by the late Mr John Erskine, of Montrose, for educational purposes.
This makes the fourth farm fire that has occurred in Kincardineshire within the past fortnight.

Article published in The Evening Telegraph, Thursday, January 30, 1902


To-day a telephonic message was received at Stonehaven Coastguard Station from the Catterline Station, intimating that the steading at the home farm of Harveston**, parish of Kinneff, was ablaze, and requesting the assistance of the Stonehaven Fire Brigade.

As the brigade has no fire engine, but depends upon the excellent gravitation supply possessed by the county town, it was not considered advisable to send the brigade, but Inspector Farquharson, of the county police, at once drove off to superintendent operations at the fire.

The estate of Harvieston belongs to the Montrose Educational Trust, having been purchased many years ago by Montrose Town Council as an investment of a large sum of money left by the late Mr Alexander Thomson, a Montrosian, who realised a competency abroad, for educational and charitable purposes.

The steading was rebuilt over 20 years ago, and is one of the finest in Kincardineshire. The farm is tenanted by Messrs J. & A. Silver. Mr Alexander Silver left the farm after breakfast time this morning to attend Stonehaven weekly market. There was no appearance of fire when he left, but on being appraised of the news, he drove with Inspector Farquharson for Harveston**.

This is the fourth farm fire in Southern Kincardineshire during the last fortnight. In connection with the others two parties are presently in Stonehaven Prison pending inquiries.
**Harvieston is correct spelling.

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