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A Blow to Historic Preservation in Texas

Scurry County:
Fire on the Snyder Town Square

Photos by Charlene Beauchamp and Christopher Kelly
Text from various reports


Book Hotel Here › Snyder Hotels

Other than a tornado, the worst fate that can hit a small town is fire, especially when it occurs on the town square where the town's most important businesses stand right up against one another - in many cases sharing common walls.

Snyder Texas town square before fire The west side of the square before the fire
Photo Courtesy Charlene Beatty Beauchamp

Rubble hauled from the site
Photo Courtesy Christopher Kelly

The most recent of courthouse square fires occurred late last month (Feb. 2003) in the West Texas town of Snyder - the county seat of Scurry County.

Alert citizen Cindy Gill noticed smoke in the window of the building just after 8 p.m. and called it in.

The fire department arrived in minutes, but unfortunately the entire upstairs was engulfed and the 1905 building collapsed - a total loss in less than a half-hour. Fire departments from the neighboring towns of Sweetwater, Colorado City, Roscoe and Loraine responded, and together they succeeded in preventing the blaze from spreading.

Snyder Texas landmark White Buffalo  and fire scene Snyder's landmark White Buffalo guards firefighter's food and water
Photo Courtesy Christopher Kelly

In recent years the towns of Luling, La Grange, Georgetown and Newton have suffered fires. In Newton's case it practically destroyed the Newton County courthouse. In addition San Antonio suffered the collapse of a historic fašade in the downtown area in the fall of 2002.

March 2003
Forum

The recent fire on the Snyder, TX square was on the west side, not the south side. The south side is the one with the Ritz Theater. - Jerry Clift

More Texas Historic Preservation

Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories and recent or vintage/historic photos, please contact us.


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