110 years ago on February 13, 1905, the Masonic Temple on the 300 block of Main Street caught fire in the early morning hours, resulting in one of the largest and costliest fires in Longmont, Colorado’s history.
At approximately 1:50 a.m., three volunteer fire stations heard the alarm sound, and the temperatures were a brisk -24˚F. Once firefighters were on the scene, it took 10-15 minutes to force water through the frozen hoses. Meanwhile, the fire had spread.
Firefighters were finally able to extinguish the fire between 3-5:30 a.m. What was left of the three-story building, had crashed on the one-story hardware business next door, owned by Thomas Butler, destroying the business, as well as damaging the nearby Oxford Restaurant.
The fire continued to smolder the next day causing locals to have to watch the building. A small fire ignited again but was quickly put out. The total estimated cost of the damage was $35,000 – today’s equivalent would be roughly $1 million.
Following the fire, great measures were taken in building the replacement Masonic Lodge, making sure fire escapes were available. The Masons purchased Thomas Butler’s hardware lot and built a two-story building that was not as tall and narrow, but wide and long and included fire escapes. The new lodge was completed in late 1905, and the first Masonic meeting was held in the hall on Nov. 18, 1905.