Mathews Court House suffered three devastating fires in a 21-year period in the 20th century, before organized fire protection was available. Top left left, a scene from after the fire in 1921; at right, after a fire in 1926; below left, the fire of 1942. Large swaths of commercial property were wiped out in each blaze, and only bucket brigades and chemical trucks were available to check the progress of the flames.
FILE PHOTOS; 1921 PHOTO COURTESY OF MARY ANN GILMAN
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