Full Text:Fires often brought destruction The architecture of the buildings around the Square is largely determined by when fire struck any particular spot. In nearly every instance, wooden buildings were replaced by brick. The eastern half of the south side of the Square burned in 1851, so many of the oldest buildings are located there. The first courthouse which had been in the center of the Square and was later made into a tavern, burned approximately a year after the new courthouse was completed in 1857. On the day of the Great Chicago Fire, October 8, 1871, Woodstock also had a fire on the Square which destroyed $20,000 in property in nine buildings. The fire began in the southwest corner of the square in a haystack behind a saloon. The Harvard Pumper fire engine was unavailable to assist because it had been loaded on a train car and transported to Chicago to assist with the great disaster. Woodstock got its own fire department in 1873 when the citizens raised a fund for this purpose. Another fire in 1872 destroyed the buildings on the east side of the square from Jackson Street north, including the National Bank, the Exchange Hotel, Holcomb Brothers boot and shoe store, E. Furer Building, F. Arnold Stock and Building, T. Whitson and Sons Hardware, D.W. Robinson Building, J. Foreman and Son Grocers, J.L. Hoyt Boots and Shoes, T.B. Wakeman and J.A. Parrish, lawyers. All of the buildings were replaced within a year, giving that side a similarity in style. On March 6,1880, fire destroyed buildings in the T.J. Dacy block and R.C. Jefferson s grain warehouse. Burglars had been at work, blowing the safes of the American Express Company and Mr. Dacy s business. Much of Main Street burned in 1892, and the east side south of Jackson, including the Rat Hole, burned in 1893. In 1902, fire destroyed the Woodstock Brewing and Bottling Company located where Copy Express is now. In modern times we have seen continued destruction with two recent major fires on Main Street. Inspecting the damage following afire February 1, 1892, on Main Street, looking North to the railroad, away from the Square.