New Bloomfield Masonic Lodge building collapses

Old brick structure believed built in 1900s

Matthew Ousley/FULTON SUN photo

NEW BLOOMFIELD, Mo. -- An old downtown brick building housing the New Bloomfield Masonic Lodge collapsed here shortly after 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

Brick rubble from the two-story building fell across the street, blocking Redwood Drive.

Members of the Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons (A.F.&A.M) Lodge No. 60 were still using the building for monthly meetings; however, the building was unoccupied at the time of the collapse and no one was hurt.

Almon Churchill Pearre, a past lodge master who has been a member of the lodge for 62 years, said he was at the building about two hours before it collapsed. He said a piece fell off the west side of the building, raising concern about the stability of the structure. It collapsed about two hours later.

Witnesses at a service station just west of the building said some bricks fell from the top of the building near the service station Thursday morning.

Jon Warren, president of the New Bloomfield Historical Society, said the building had served as the Bank of New Bloomfield from 1901 to 1931. The top floor of the building at one time was occupied by the International Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF).

A white frame building at the rear of the building, which served as a dining hall for the lodge, also was damaged by falling rubble.

Lodge records were saved because they were kept in two safes.

Read additional information coming up in our newspaper and e-Edition for Saturday, Aug. 20, 2011.

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