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Block has seen its share of history

Block has seen its share of history

February 14th, 2018 by Michelle Brooks in Local News

This drawing is from the William Heck Manufacturer of Saddlery Catalogue No. 6.

The 500 block of North East Street is a site of sentiment and history for California.

The two-story brick building in the center, likely is the most well-known — either as the Heck Saddlery Shop or the Zucker Feather Company.

But the northern-most building on that block is one of the oldest in town, surviving the 1906 fire which claimed the rest of the block.

Once called the Burkhardt corner, the present building went up in 1847, according the Moniteau County Historical Society records. It was the home of the Moniteau County Herald for decades in the early 20th century. And had been the law offices of Edmond Burke for 51 years on the night of the fire.

The March 1906 fire cremated all 22 horses housed in the livery barn, owned by L.A. Schmidt, and resulted in an estimated $50,000 in property destruction.

The fire originated in the basement of the barn, where the animals were kept. A stable employee, Areb Linville, narrowly escaped, as he had been asleep in the office.

Dr. William Hurst, a veterinary surgeon, was asleep in his second-floor room, where he lost all of his equipment and library.

L.F. Wood also lost his law library, which had been in his offices on the second floor.

James Buchanan lost his family's favorite horse and surry, which were kept at the livery. Price James also lost a horse and two rigs, which had been stored there.

The Heck building was not emptied before the fire reached it, as responders expected a dividing wall and the wind would stop the flames from moving on, the California Democrat reported March 15, 1906. All was lost in the end.

The frame home of Mrs. Lewis Ryan, immediately north of the Heck building, was taken down to prevent the fire's further spread

The north-corner building, the only one spared that night, had been the site of Burke's law office.