January 9, 1908
“BLAZE AT HANCOCK” DISASTROUS FIRE MONDAY MORNING. MASONIC TEMPLE DESTROYED
Fire that broke out Monday morning shortly after midnight destroyed the J.K.P Grove building, in Hancock, and then spread to the Masonic Temple. The blaze was discovered about 12:30 am and then, the Grove Building occupied by A. Joffee and C.W. Henderson was doomed. The fire burned so fiercely that the bucket brigade could do practically nothing. The great heat prevented anyone from getting near enough to throw water on the fire. At 1:30 am the Masonic Temple caught fire and in a short time it was apparent that the handsome four story structure was doomed. J.G. Turner’s store was located on the first floor, and the second floor was the opera house, which was leased by C.W. Boyer of the Academy of Music of Hagerstown, and the Central Opera House, Martinsburg. The third and fourth floors were devoted to lodge rooms. An appeal was sent to Hagerstown for aid. As soon as Mayor Mish had been communicated with, the Juniors with their engines, and the Antietams with their hose wagon, left on special trains over the Western Maryland Railroad. The total loss is estimated at $30,000, the greatest being the Masonic Temple, a pretty modern building, recently erected at a cost of $20,000. Not more than half of the loss is covered by insurance. The Messenger deeply sympathizes with the Masonic Brethren in their great loss.