This prominent building on the corner of 4th and State Street housed the Knights of Pythias Hall as well as an early moving picture theater, though by the time it burned the theater was gone. I don't have a year for this fire, but it was sometime between 1916 and 1928. If it was before 1920 it would have been especially embarrassing, as the fire station was housed in the old city hall building next door. By 1920 the station moved two blocks down State Street to the new City Hall building.
Category: [Downtown Hood River]
One of the earliest photos we saw, #32, showed the Knights of Pythias Band and this building.
It might be interesting to try and date the new looking Coca Cola sign. I can't imagine the old city hall building escaped this fire.
l.e. on 31st January 2013 @ 9:21am
My book shows that type of sign as early as 1910 and up to 1934 with Drink above Coca-Cola,some of these were porcelain and also tin. One this large would be in the two to three thousand dollar range now.
lee curtis on 31st January 2013 @ 2:15pm
"The Hood River's Waucoma Lodge No. 30, Knights of Pythias was instituted 22 February 1890. The Lodge constructed a hall building on the northwest corner of 4th and Bridge (State) streets sometime between 1890 and 1902. The Lodge also started a cemetery, the Knights of Pythias Cemetery, which was located about 2 1/2 miles southwest of the city limits......By 1920, the Lodge was in their new hall in the "Pythian Building" formerly known as the Helbronner Block."
From the National Historic Record of the Heilbronner Building. There is no reference to a fire so perhaps the Knights of Pythias moved to their new lodge before this fire.
There is an excellent website about the cemetery founded by the Knights of Pythias.
l.e. on 1st February 2013 @ 6:30am
I've found documentation at the fire station which indicates this fire was in 1923. It also explains that the first HRFD ball was a fundraiser held in this building in 1904.
By the time of this fire the HRFD had relocated to the new fire station and city hall on Second Street.
Arthur on 28th February 2013 @ 8:06pm
Just to add a bit of drama to fire shown above I have edited two newspaper articles from Portland and posted here. This fire had great opportunity to cause much greater destruction except the great work performed by HRFD.
Phythians' Hall Fire - September 27, 1924 – Edited
Oregon Journal (published as Oregon SUNDAY Journal) September 28, 1924
Oregonian (published as The Sunday Oregonian) September 28, 1924 - page 1
AT HOOD RIVER
Spectacular Fire Threatens All
Many Dwellings Saved by Fighters.
Hood River, Sept. 27, 1924 - (Saturday)
Fire originating in the garage of Schindler Brother's Garage in the old Knights of Pythias building today caused damage aggregating nearly $15,000.
The fire was first noticed shortly after 10 o'clock and within 10 minutes the big
building, which covers an area of 50 by 100 feet, was ablaze from end to end
and the roofs of adjoining buildings were afire. So intense was the heat that lawns on the opposite side of the street, which is 60 feet wide, caught afire.
A strong wind from the east carried flaming masses of debris set fire to the roofs of houses more than six blocks away and the roofs of sixteen residences were fired.
James Fenemore, fireman, was hurt but his injuries are not serious.
But for the efficient work of the volunteer fire department with a motorized pumper a half block of old wooden structures and perhaps the west end residence section would have been wiped out.
Had the fire occurred three hours later it is probable that a number of G.A.R. veterans and women members of the Relief Corps would have perished, as the latter had arranged to entertain the veterans on the second floor of the building and the tables had been set for the feast. So rapid was the progress of the flames that escape would have been impossible.
The second story of the Knights of Pythias building was used as a meeting place by Canby post, Grand Army of the Republic, woman's relief corps, Modern Woodmen of America, Woodmen of the World, Royal Neighbors, Women of Woodcraft and other fraternal orders. These organization lost their charters, records and paraphernalia.
The building was placed on the fire hazard list by the state fire marshal but a week ago.
The damage, as nearly as can be ascertained now, will be about $15000.
Schlinder Brothers equipment and automobile, $2000; insurance $1000.
E. C. Knoll, who operated a bakery in the old city hall, $2500; insurance $500;
Truck burned, $900.
Loss on the Knights of Pythias building estimated at $5000, with $3000 insurance.
City Fire Marshal Morgan, painter’s equipment stored in the building, $350,
A. W. Davis, tractor stored in a garage $1500, insurance $500.
Damage to old city hall building $500.
Cable of the Oregon-Washington Telephone company was destroyed entailing a loss of more than $1000. Six hundred telephone were put out of commission.
LMH on 29th January 2021 @ 3:21pm
My goodness, can you imagine this fire in a September east wind. It is surprising the entire town didn't burn.
Thanks for the story.
L.E. on 31st January 2021 @ 11:23am