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Burned building flattened

Burned building flattened

July 3rd, 2018 by David Wilson in Local News

The remaining shell of the Eagles Club Aerie 4027 cautiously was razed June 29, 2018, after fire destroyed the building June 24-25.

Photo by David Wilson /News Tribune.

The historic building, known as The Eagles Club Aerie 4027 for nearly 40 years, is gone except for rubble.

The building, which was destroyed by fire June 24-25, was determined to be a total loss.

According to California Fire Chief Allen Smith, the damage to the structure is so extensive that the insurance company and fire marshals investigation found that a cause of the fire is very likely to remain undetermined. It appears that the fire may have started in the basement, possibly near where the freight elevator was located, but the actual cause is likely to remain unknown.

Information gleaned from local historians Jack Bowlin and James Albin said the three-story building across from the Finke Theater on High Street was constructed about 1904 by R. Kiely and Sons Hardware. It was built following the business outgrowing its previous location, across the street to the north in the vacant building now known as Willy's.

At the rear of the building was a freight elevator, believed to have been the first one in town. It was still operable at the time the building burned.

At some point, the building was home to Morrow Furniture. In 1939, the building appears to have housed the Hinkle Implement Company. In 1941, it was the Bunch Motor Company, which was a Hudson automobile dealership. That business lasted only a brief time, and the building became a cutting room for the jacket factory.

Apparently, while it was occupied by the jacket factory, the second floor area around the sides was, for a time, used as a roller skating rink.

In 1954, Bixler's opened its furniture and appliance business in the building, buying the building in 1956. The Eagles Club, which had been started in California several years before, purchased the building in 1982.

As the Eagles Club, the building had a bar in the back and an large open room in front. In the last 38 years, the building has been visited by many people, adults and children, because of the many events, such as the annual Halloween party, many fundraisers, scholarship events, fish fries and others.

The Eagles are currently in the process of whether to rebuild on the same location or build somewhere else. Regardless of the outcome, the building and its community events will be missed.

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