Site has seen fire beforeWhere the fire-damaged Elks building now stands was once a local entertainment destination, which also was destroyed by fire in 1893. “It housed entertainment. They rollerskated and had plays,” said local historian Mary F. Young.
By: Kari Lucin, The Jamestown Sun
Where the fire-damaged Elks building now stands was once a local entertainment destination, which also was destroyed by fire in 1893.
“It housed entertainment. They rollerskated and had plays,” said local historian Mary F. Young.
At that time, the building was owned by Anton Klaus, called the “father of Jamestown.” His son Charlie Klaus became the first leader of the local Elks club.
The building was destroyed by a massive fire that burned all the way to Nickeus Park, Young said.
The building that eventually housed the Elks Club had previously contained the S & L store, which later became Bostwick’s, said Charlie Kourajian, another local historian.
“We all have memories in that building, you know. Everybody’s thinking of going to dances and having a good time,” Young said.
Young said the Elks left the building sometime in the 1990s.
“That was a well-used building and it certainly is a Jamestown landmark, and who knows what’s going to become of it now,” Kourajian said. “… it was a big piece of history in Jamestown, and certainly, a lot of us old-timers will remember the good times that were had there.”
The adjacent building owned by Vining Oil and Gas LLC was best known as Midwest Motors, a business owned by Oscar Fode. The company refurbished and repainted cars.
“The garage itself had a nice showcase and front there, with all those glass windows,” Kourajian said.
The building, which was destroyed in Friday’s fire, is also known as the North Star building for an auto body shop that was once located there.
Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be reached at 701-952-8453 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org