BROOKVILLE — A disastrous fire of unknown origin was discovered on February 26, 1913 around 2 a.m., when most of the town was sleeping. The fire started in what was known as Mr. George Shafer’s old livery barn, just behind the Palace Hotel and on the alley bordering Mr. D. S. Baker’s property.
When it was discovered the building was already in flames and was going by leaps and bounds sweeping everything it its path. Surrounding buildings were soon on fire.
The Shafer building and all its contents including 11 horses, and a pony, two automobiles, several buggies, harness and a well-stocked garner, including hay, corn and oats were lost. Mr. Shafer had nothing insured.
The next building to go was a large two story building owned by Levi Rasor, and the upstairs was occupied by his mother and sister who barely escaped with their lives, not even saving clothing except what they had put on. The Rasor property was only partially insured.
The first floor which was occupied by Mr. H. B. Hull’s grocery store was also destroyed. Mr. Hull had only recently started in his new enterprise and carried only partial insurance. Mr. Rasor decided to rebuild so that Mr. Hull would be able to continue his business at the same location in the near future.
Sparks then flew to the Palace Hotel, starting that structure on fire. By quick action of the fire fighters that loss was held to $1,000. The hotel had just the day before been occupied by Calvin H. Grubbs, the owner and occupant who had moved there from Germantown.
The saving of the big hotel was a miracle. The front stood in-tact except for the breaking of the large plate glass window. Since Mr. Grubbs had just taken occupancy on the day before the fire, so much of the goods was still packed and was taken from the building to a safe place. The damage to the building was considerable as the rear was badly burned and the interior was completely ruined by water.
All information and the photo for this Look at Brookville article were supplied by the Brookville Historical Society. Do you have a photo or historical information to share or add? Please contact the Brookville Historical Society at 937-833-0285 or email to [email protected].