Thursday, May 11, 2017

Burning Down the School

In June 1907, the Fort Dodge, Iowa High School, caught fire. The building was ten years old, and was able to be restored. Our photo is printed on the popular postcard paper format, and was actually sent, being postmarked on June 20, 1907. A greedy stamp collector tore the hole in the photo.

The building was badly damaged, with the roof and part of at least one wall collapsing (This website has a version of our photo, plus one taken a bit later during the fire, and the wall collapse is evident). Surprisingly, though, enough of the stone structure was left that the school was rebuilt, although the appearance was a bit different. While researching this fire, I found that a colorized postcard show what the school looked like was for sale on eBay, so I bought it; the card is shown below.

There are several other photos of the school out on the web. Grinnell College's digital collection has the photo on the right, which shows the school before the fire.

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