Boyer Block Fire
On August 14, 1900 one of the worst fires in the history of the town struck Woodstock. The Shenandoah Herald reported the blaze was first noticed at around 3:00 in the morning. By the time notice was given, the second floor of the Stickley and Boyer building, a three story structure that housed a restaurant, offices, and a public hall, was engulfed. The Fire Company began work promptly, however the building was beyond saving. Eventually that structure, G.W. Koontz’s building next door, and the Geary Hotel all burned. The Episcopal Church, located to the east of the fire, also caught fire. At first only the steeple was aflame, but poor water supply prevented anyone from stopping the fire and the interior of the building was gutted. The four buildings that were destroyed were valued at over $25,000, over $2.1 million today.
The Shenandoah Herald noted the biggest reason for the disastrous fire was the lack of a water system. Despite the efforts of the fire company, they relied on a hand engine and water cisterns. The paper called on the town to find a water supply and provide fire protection. Local leaders acted quickly, and the plant was begun within the year.
Those affected by the fire included Stickley and Boyer, the Geary Hotel, Bargelt’s Store, Mauck & Young’s, Horsey and Atwell’s, Ramey’s Meat Store, the Episcopal Church, and Boyer’s Restaurant. However, these businesses would rebuild. Most would be open in other places within a month and new brick buildings would be built in the area. They remain today.