Early Morning Fire Entirely Destroys Rear Portion, Stage and Post Room.
Main Part Badly Damaged. $1500 Insurance.
As the result of an early morning fire this Thursday, the rear portion of the lately remodelled American Legion hall is entirely consumed and the main part is a blackened and badly damaged building. The part burned included the stage and the large basement room under it, which was used as dining room and kitchen.
A basketball game between the Triangle A. C. team and Holly had been held at the hall during the evening and following that was a private dance of the Milford - South Lyon Dancing Club, which included a number of the prominent younger married people of the two villages. This lasted until one o'clock, when members of the Club closed the hall. The Dancing Club did not rent the lunch room below but served midnight lunch on the stage, having a fire in the stage stove for the refreshments. Everyone appeared to have left fright when the dance was over.
The fire was first seen by Robert Howey who lives on a farm southeast of town and his brother Josh, Who stays at the Finingsdorf barn. Rob drove to town to take the "owl" train going north and left his car at the barn. The brothers started for the depot, and in passing the hall heard a sound as of some object dropping or being moved. One of them remarked that somebody must be closing up after the dance and they passed on. After reaching the depot they saw the fire and routed out Leo Shelersers, who lives next to the depot, but he had no phone so they tried other housed in the neighborhood. By the time the alarm sounded the rear of the building was in flames.
The firemen soon had two lines of hose playing on the fire and succeeded in keeping it down so that the main part of the building is left standing, although the fire spread the whole length of the roof and badly damaged it. The galvanized iron roof kept the flames from breaking through.
From the location of the fire when first seen, it probably started at the rear of the stage floor in the vicinity of the stove. Further than that nothing i known as the how the fire originated.
The Legion carried $1500 Insurance on the building and contents. At the meeting this Thursday night one of the items of business to have been present was that of increasing the insurance to $3,000.
The American Legion purchased only last June of C.S. Inch the building which had been transferred by the G.A.R. Post in payment for a monument. The Legion had spent $1800 in money besides much labor donated in remodeling the interior. The building has since been in very frequent use for dances and basketball.
The Legion will hold a meeting this Thursday night at the Dodge garage to discuss future plans. It is thought by some that if the dancing floor comes through in fair condition, the roof can be repaired, the east end enclosed and other repairs made which will allow the building to be used for dances and basketball at an expense within their reach.
- Milford Times January 9th, 1925