Fire believed to have originated in the men's locker room completely destroyed the club house of the Marietta Country Club, inflicting a loss, the exact monetary size of which may be difficult to estimate. The fire occurred late Sunday afternoon, having been discovered at 6:15 o'clock. Within an hours the building and the attendant structures were a mass of ruins.
Light gray smoke from the fire clouded the sky north of Marietta and attracted large crowds. Hundreds of motorists drove to the scene and highways in all directions were congested during the early evening. Equipment from the Marietta fire department was sent to the scene but no water supply was available.
Members of the club were present when the fire was discovered. Golf players who had spent the afternoon on the club course had been using the locker rooms and the last of them had left that part of the building, and family parties were forming in the dining rooms when some one shouted fire. A few of the men entered the locker rooms and found it a roaring mass of flames. They saved scattered bits of clothing and some of their personal effects, but the oncoming flames drove them down the stairs.
The few minutes' time that intervened between discovery of the fire and the breaking through of the flames into the main floor of the building permitted members and others from the neighborhood to carry out most of the furnishings in the main hall. Employees of the club had time to save much of the dining room and kitchen equipment.
Water Tank Burns
So intense was the heat from the burning building that the flames were communicated to the elevated water tank on the northeast corner of the main structure and to the maple trees that surrounded the building. Many of the trees, weakened by a cyclone a few years ago, proved ready fuel for the fire and were destroyed.
Men who have been officers of the club in recent years gathered about the burning building and discussed the loss of their property. They declined to place definite estimates on the loss. They said that the property was insured on a schedule fixed by approved appraisal engineers and total coverage on building and contents amounted to $10,900.
The Marietta Country Club was formed more than a third of a century ago. It is located on the Devol and Chamberlain farms in the Devol's Dam neighborhood. The club house was situated originally in the heart of a grove overlooking a stretch of the Muskingum Valley. A large part of the grove was destroyed by a cyclone that swept the valley a few years ago.
Built in 1900
The club house was built in the late summer and fall of 1900 and was occupied in the year 1901, according to Gordon Devol, one of the owners of the site. The club had remained in constant operation since that time. It has been one of the social centers of the Marietta territory for a third of a century.
The club has maintained and supported a nine-hole golf course and many Marietta golfers have had their training there. It is the home course of the new Central Ohio champion, Max Devol, and his home is only a few hundred yards from the site of the burned club house. He is one of the owners of the ground occupied by the club.