Recent Small Blazes Near Stage in Rear of Dancehall Recalled
ANNUAL ROAD SHOW PERFORMANCE OFF
Famous ‘Bill Bond’ Dances Held in Barn Near Hostelry Half-Century Ago
DANBY, May 23. — The origin of the $30,000 blaze which early this morning razed the century-old Ackert hotel block in the center of the village,” remained a mystery today to townspeople who viewed the ruins of the structure which housed a fern storehouse, a meat market, a restaurant, a beer garden, a general store, a dancehall and living quarters for three families. Men of the village who were awakened shortly after midnight by the clanging of the churchbell, summoning them to the scene, recalled today that during the past year small fires had broken out in the same spot near the stage in the rear of the dancehall, on three or four occasions.
Disappointment was keen with the realization that the people of Danby would be deprived of their annual privilege of witnessing a presentation of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” by a road company, slated for tonight.
One of Danby Landmarks.
The old hotel was one of Danby’s landmarks. It was purchased as a hotel by Capt. William B. Bond, father of Perry Bond of this town, on his return from the Civil war in ’66.
In the barn adjoining the two-and-a-half story hostelry were held the famous “Bill Bond dances,” of half a century ago, to which girls and boys drove from farms several miles away.
The fire was discovered shortly after midnight, by William Spangler, who gave the alarm. The church bell was rung, bringing men running from all sections of the village to form bucket brigades.
The flames, fanned by a high wind, had gained rapid headway when the Manchester fire department arrived. They succeeded in salvaging the home and garage of Edward Kelly south of the hotel, which had been partially burned.
Library and Homes Saved.
The Rutland fire department, arriving later, assisted in preventing the flames from spreading to the Danby library and the homes of Dan. Risdon, Abe Rosen and Rollin Griffith nearby.
Peter I. Ackert, jr., and his wife, Barney Rosen and his family, and the family of Peter Beauregard, who lived in the apartments of the Ackert block, fled to safety. Peter I. Ackert, Sr., owner of the property was in Albany, N. Y., at the time.
The basement of the building contained the general store of Barney Rosen, and the Ackert Fern Storage plant.
On the main floor was the Beauregard meat market and a restaurant and beer garden owned by Peter I. Ackert, Jr.