Fire destroys historic Fredericktown
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
A fire yesterday destroyed a landmark hotel building in
the village of Fredericktown, but 11 tenants escaped injury.
The fire broke out about 8:30 a.m. in the second floor
or attic of the two-story Riverside Inn, which includes
a restaurant, bar and hotel, said Mark Husak, chief engineer
of the East Bethlehem Volunteer Fire Department.
Trooper R. Eric Graham, the state police fire marshal,
said the accidental fire was sparked by an electrical malfunction.
The building is owned by Duane Devecka of Fredericktown.
Damage was estimated at $150,000.
A fire in 1980 had destroyed the third floor of the building,
which was one of the oldest in the village along the Monongahela
River near the Washington-Greene county line.
Built in 1903, the building originally was known as the
Hotel Bower. Walter Bower, a grandson of one of the community's
earliest settlers, built it to replace a previous hotel
that had grown too small to accommodate visitors drawn by
local mines and other businesses, according to "Fredericktown
1790-1990," a history of the village.
The brick building featured an ornate, double-decker porch
and imposing carved-wood bar that had been shipped from
New Orleans. Members of the Bower family sold the business
in 1980 to Devecka.
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