From the Madera Tribune, Volume 67, Number 83, 8 Sept. 1958
North Fork Store Burns As Community Threatened
North Fork, CA. — A North Fork landmark for nearly 60 years burned to the ground Sunday afternoon. The Trading Post, a general mercantile store, caused this community’s most spectacular fire in years. The County Assessor’s Office valued the building alone at $20,000. The store was built in 1901 or 1902, according to U.S. Forestry Service Officials. It is owned by B.O. Best of North Fork. Forestry officials said the blaze broke out in the attic about 3 o’clock, “probably faulty wiring.” Cal Div. of Forestry units from throughout the county rushed to the scene to prevent any large-scale spreading of the fire but were unable to cope with the “heat” generated. Within hours the building was burned to the ground.
Firefighters played water on an adjacent gas station and nearby buildings. A rain prevented almost “certain fire spread” through the community. Windows of the building across the street cracked from the heat with their wood frames oozing pitch causing mass discoloration.
The North Fork History Group Would Like to Know:
- What did the store have in their stock?
- What did it look like inside?
- Was the “tree in the road” still there when the building burned?
- What was the name of the store across the street that the windows cracked?
- Did ammunition inside the store explode during the fire?
Any other pertinent information about this fire would be greatly appreciated.
Follow-up to History Mystery #110
Comments from SNO Facebook:
Catherine Hubbell Hodges: Some people
Could have been the dedication of Highway 145….
May be an image of text that says ‘Madera County’s Big Day! Public Dedication of the MADERA- MADERA-YOSEMITE Highway Unit TOMORROW Sunday, May 25, 1941 10:30 Cottonwood Creek Bridge 8 Miles East of Madera YOU Are a Committee of One To Greet State and Highway Officials and Show Our Appreciation For This Fine Highway MADERA COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCT’
You might also find something in the California Highways and Public Works
1937-1967 by Caltrans…there is a reference to the bridge in the index at https://dot.ca.gov/…/documents/ser/cal-hwy-index-a11y.pdf
The Golden Shovel from the groundbreaking of Route 145 from Madera to Friant. No photo description available.
John Rigby where is this shovel now? That’s a great piece of early Madera County history.
Rob Stapleton: I think it’s somewhere in the museum.
Marie Trudel: Thugs, they are everywhere
Those have been gone a long time there was a man’s name on them by the name of Franchi
Jerry Waag: makes sense…Franchi dam is just up the road…https://www.usbr.gov/projects/index.php?id=171
Bureau of Reclamation