Many familiar with Prescott history are aware of the Great Fire, which occurred July 14, 1900 and destroyed Whiskey Row. However, twelve years earlier, there was another great fire which wiped out Cortez Street.
It all started with an ill-fated plan to blow the safe at TW Otis’ store. The burglars entered the establishment, under the cover of darkness, shortly after midnight July 1st and planted some dynamite around the store’s safe. Concerned that the noise from the blast would sound an alarm, the would-be thieves covered the safe with burlap gunny-sacks. They then lit the fuse and scurried out of the building to avoid injury.