November 7, 1928
Kelly Villa Destroyed By Fire
Kelly Villa, the beautiful summer residence of Mrs. Lizetta Sanford Kelly Hallett, situated on the North Mountain, two miles from Aylesford, burned to the ground early Sunday morning, together with the entire contents including much valuable furniture, silverware, dishes, etc..
Mrs. Hallett, who had been spending the past three months at Kelly Villa, was, at the time visiting at the home of Mrs. Aaron Schofield, about two miles distant, and had with her only her immediate needs in wearing apparel. Everything which had been left behind, including all of her personal effects, were destroyed with the building.
The cause of the fire is a mystery, although circumstances point strongly to incediarism. No person was residing on the property at the time of the outbreak, the caretaker who had been employed there for some time, having moved out a day or two previous.
While it is believed the fire occurred shortly after midnight Saturday, no one, strange as it may seem, saw the conflagration, notwithstanding the fact that the building occupied a spacious area on the top of the mountain. This was due, possibly, to the night being stormy, with a heavy mist enshrouding the vicinity where the outbreak occurred.
Mrs. Hallett first learned of the disaster Sunday morning, through Messrs. Christopher Baltzer and Roy Patterson of Aylesford, who, observing smoke in the vicinity, drove over to investigate and discovered a heap of smoldering ruins where once had been her lovely palatial summer residence.
Kelly Villa was built twenty-two years ago by Mrs. Hallett (then Mrs. Kelly), who while making her permanent home in Brooklyn, New York, spent most of her summers at the Villa. The building was not only splendid in architectural design but modern throughout. While spending the past season there, Mrs. Hallett had effected some extensive repairs and improvements.
The property was valued at upwards of $15,000 and was partially covered by insurance.
During the past six months much valuable property has been destroyed in Aylesford and vicinity, through a series of mysterious fires which were apparently of incediary origin. Kelly Villa adds another to the long list of buildings that have thus been wiped out. But this property is too valuable to be passed over lightly. Prompt measures should be taken to investigate this wholesale destruction of properties and bring the guilty parties to justice.