When walking down by the Marmora dam today and passiing the many different relics of days gone by, one can't help feel the ghostly presence of the hive of activity that once existed there. Most of the ruins visible today are the left overs of the Pearce Company dynasty, started in 1873 to mill and sell everything from lumber to gold.
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But while the sky seemed the limit, the Pearce family was soon to learn how quickly all can be wiped out by fire. On May 18, 1905, the Herald described the fire that wiped out a section of Main street, from Reginald Street to Madoc Street.
"The fine 'Arcade" Block', containing several stores, the "Herald" printing office, and upstairs offices, was totally destroyed, entailing heavy loss to the occupants. J. W. Pearce, M.P.P., occupied the largest premises in the block, with a large general store and he will be a heavy loser.
Then again, On August 20th, 1920, the Pearce Company's office, planing mill, dry kiln and two long sheds containing a considerable quantity of lumber were totally destroyed....." Because of that event, all company books prior to 1920 were lost, as were the public and cotinuation school records.
With hardly enough time to recover from that disaster, in September of 1921 the alarm rang out a third time for the Pearces, this time with a massive fire that would destroy the woollen mill, the old electrical plant and the stables. When the firehose was discovered to be deliberately slit, the village requested an investigation and offered a reward of $200.00 to find the arsonist, and within two weeks, William Bayett was arrested.