Saturday, February 22, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: February 22

February 22, 1898 – The Duluth Chamber of Commerce, one of the largest and most costly buildings in the city, was partially destroyed by fire tonight. The origin of the fire is a mystery, and it gave the firemen a hard struggle before it was under control, owing to the fact that the building is in the form of two wings with a broad passage in the rear.

The building was supposed to be fireproof, but burned briskly in spite of the fact that 20 lines of hose poured ton after ton of water on it for more than two hours. At midnight the blaze was under control, but not until after the greater part of the interior had been gutted by the flames. The building is valued at $200,000, and as near as it is possible to find out, a line of insurance amounting to about $125,000. The loss is estimated at $50,000 on the building, and nearly as much more on the contents.

St. Paul Globe; “Big Zenith City Blaze, Chamber of Commerce Building Partially Destroyed, Loss on the Structure, Which Was Supposed to Be Fireproof, Fifty Thousand Dollars, and on the Contents Much More.”; Feb. 23, 1898; p. 1.

The Duluth Chamber of Commerce Building

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