Remember when West Ice and Storage burned down? These Fond du Lac landmark fires made history

  • Source: Fond du Lac Reporter - Metered Site
  • Published: 03/01/2024 12:00 AM

PHOTOS: The Fond du Lac area has many landmarks of which to be proud, but how many have been lost to tragedy? One of the city's most famous fires occurred in 1908, known as "the night the churches burned," although it had started in an old opera house. The Crescent Opera House opened in 1887 on Second and Marr streets with Shakespeare’s classic, “As You Like It,” starring Helena Modjeska. At the time, it was in close proximity to St. Joseph's Church and hosted a number of productions and the very start of 20th-century films. However, the theater closed in 1906 because of the opening of another theater nearby on Sheboygan Street. At that time, the theater building was converted into an automobile garage. On Sept. 25, 1908, containers of gas in the building exploded, and a strong wind carried sparks to the roof of St. Joseph's Church, according to The Reporter archives.


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