Historic meeting place for Civil War veterans destroyed in Northwood fire

  • Firefighters battle a blaze at the Masonic Lodge in Northwood late Saturday. Courtesy Jay Heath

  • Firefighters battle a blaze at the Masonic Lodge in Northwood late Saturday. Photo courtesy Jay Heath. —Courtesy

  • —Courtesy

Published: 9/29/2019 9:38:25 AM

A historic Masonic lodge in Northwood where Civil War veterans met and shared battle stories was destroyed in a fire Saturday night.

Joann Bailey, 91, a member of the Northwood historical society, said the loss of the structure in the fire, a four-alarm blaze that called more than nine fire departments to the town, was devastating to Northwood.

“I think it was probably the worst thing that has happened to Northwood in recent years,” she said.

The lodge, built in the 1800s, had three floors, two of which served the masons for meetings and other events. The first floor housed a kitchen and dining hall. 

But the truly special room was the attic, where the Northwood chapter of the Grand Army of the Republic once met, Bailey said. It was decorated with murals each depicting a  famous scene from the Civil War. Two of the murals were “Under Fire,” which portrayed a battle at Fort Sumter, and “The Battle of the Iron Clads,” which portrayed a famous naval battle in 1862 between two ships, the Merrimack and the Monitor. The ceiling was decorated with four paintings of military medals and poppies, Bailey said. 

“When you stood in there, you could imagine what it must have been like to be there during that time,” she said. “The Civil War veterans met there until there was only one left.” 

Behind the building, an addition was built in later years for Northwood’s grange to hold events. A stage that was part of that renovation become home to the Northwood Theatre Workshop, Bailey said.

Bailey said the historical society was in the process of trying to get the building added to the National Register of Historic Places before the fire.

  “Sadly, we will never  be able to give the building that historical recognition,” she said.  “Not now.”

One firefighter was treated for heat exhaustion while attending to the blaze Saturday. No other injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. 




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