Monday was a sad day in Trenton. One of the town's oldest buildings in the downtown core burned to the ground. This was the third big fire in Trenton in less than a month, so the Quinte West Fire fighters have been getting a lot of experience lately.
The building that burned down was the Sherwood Forest Inn on Murphy street, and the smoke and flames could be seen from quite a distance. The stores downtown had to be evacuated as did the school a little way down the road.
The Sherwood Forest Inn was a bit of a rough spot where all kinds of trouble seemed to take place, but it was also undeniably a big part of Trenton's history. In its better days it was known as the Quinte Hotel and was immortalized in an Al Purdy poem, At the Quinte Hotel. Al Purdy was probably Canada's best known poet of the 20th century, and was proof that good poets can often produce bad poetry.
One of the saddest aspects to this fire is that the Sherwood was not only a drinking establishment, but it was also home to a number of people who lived up on the third floor, so a few people lost their homes. Thankfully everybody managed to get out safely.
The building didn't stand much of a chance. I joined the crowd of rubberneckers for about an hour and watched as it started to collapse. There were a couple of scary moments when larger pieces fell close to the fire trucks. It almost reminded me of a sinking ship when the building finally couldn't support itself and leaned one way before collapsing into a pile of rubble.
I did know several people who lived up on the third floor, and I was quite relieved to see them watching in disbelief along with everybody else. I suppose the main thing is that everybody got out safely. Buildings can always be rebuilt, but I suspect that what ever is built in place of "The Quinte" will take quite a while to make the same impression on Trenton.