On September 27, 1887, a disastrous fire swept through the business houses of Waynesville,which were located on the south side of the square on Commercial Street (now Historic Route 66.) All of the buildings were destroyed but, according to George Reed, most werebuilt by the end of the year. The devastating loss to the businessmen amounted to $30,000. The fire originated in a building belonging to J. R. Burchard, used as a post office and drug store. Perhaps feeling guilty and not wanting to be resposible for an incendiary repeat, J. R. Burchard built the first brick business house on the new commerical row. That structure stands out on the right side of the picture above. This helps to date the picture to, at the earliest, the summer of 1888.

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