Fire razes piece of Bashaw history

Bashaw Mayor Bob Cammidge has fond memories of a historic building destroyed by fire last week. The former Moose Hall was a popular gathering spot in the 1950s and 1960s, he said. “I know when I was a kid we used to go there for dances on the weekends.” There is little left of the building now after fire ripped through the vacant building in the early hours of May 30.

Bashaw Mayor Bob Cammidge has fond memories of a historic building destroyed by fire last week.

The former Moose Hall was a popular gathering spot in the 1950s and 1960s, he said.

“I know when I was a kid we used to go there for dances on the weekends.”

There is little left of the building now after fire ripped through the vacant building in the early hours of May 30.

Bashaw Fire Chief Ross Garbe said the call came in around 3:45 a.m. and a dozen local volunteer firefighters, as well as others from Mirror, battled the blaze.

No one was injured in the fire and no other buildings were damaged.

Garbe said the cause of the fire is still under investigation by the provincial fire commissioner’s office. A damage estimate has not been determined.

The age of the building is unclear. Garbe said town records show it has been around since 1945.

But Cammidge believes it is likely considerably older.

“It’s an old building. It’s been there as long as I can remember — and that’s a long time.”

Stephanie’s Restaurant was the last incarnation for structure next to a towering green grain elevator.

Cammidge also remembers a second-hand store in there along with the many years it spent as a Moose Hall.

“You hate to see the old buildings go,” he said.

“It still had a lot of potential. It wasn’t, by far, a derelict.”

The town of 900 boasts a number of historic buildings including the Majestic Theatre, in a building dating back to 1915, and the 1922 fire hall, which now houses the town’s museum and a jail cell.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com