King William Historical Society to Present Story of Historic Fire Jan. 18

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The story of the clerk’s office fire and the documents saved told for the first time.

On the 140th anniversary of a historic fire, the King William County Historical Society will present “From the Ashes: The Story of King William County’s Burned Records” Jan. 18 at the King William County Administration Building at 2:30 p.m.

Bibb Edwards will present what’s dubbed a cautionary, but also inspirational, tale of the loss of King William County’s court records, destroyed by fire Sunday morning, Jan. 18,
1885 in the Clerk’s Office at King William Courthouse.

The story of what happened to the surviving documents that were pulled from the smoldering ruins has never been told, until now, the 140th anniversary of the fire.

Edwards’ extended family has lived in King William County since before it was formed in 1702. Now retired, he served as the Assistant Principal at King William High School in the 1970s. He (along with others) worked the past few years on resurrecting many of the damaged records.

Edwards is also the creator of the blog Caroline’s Journal, a daily account of history in King William County 150 years ago through the entries of the original diary of Caroline Littlepage.

For more information, please contact the King William County Historical Society at or 804.769.9619 or email kwhs(at)kingwilliamhistory(dot)org.

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Stephanie Heinatz
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