Jersey City, NJ Church Clubhouse Fire, Jan 1911

CHURCH CLUBHOUSE BURNED

Jersey City People's Palace Is Damage to the Extent of $20,000.

Fire, caused by the defective insulation of wires running from the electric light switchboard on the second floor, damaged the People's Palace Bergen Avenue and Forest Street, Jersey City, early yesterday morning to the extent of about $20,000.

Policeman John O'Connor saw flames shooting from the second floor and sounded an alarm. When the firemen arrived the entire floor was ablaze. The flames licked their way up an air shaft in the rear of the building to the other floors, and did much damage before the fire was under control.

The Rev. Dr. Scudder, ex-pastor of the First Congregational Church, the President and Director of the Palace, was always in the thick of the smoke trying to save things of value and working to put out the flames. A quantity of lodge paraphernalia, gymnasium apparatus and furniture was destroyed either by fire or water. Mrs. Scudder and other women served coffee to the fire fighters.

The People's Palace was built seven years ago at a cost of $300,000 by Joseph Milbank, a banker of this city, whom Dr. Scudder interested in the Palace work. Subsequently Mr. Milbank paid the cost of a swimming pool and other desirable features. The Palace has been run in conjunction with the First Congregational Church, and various parts of it have been rented for public functions and lodge meetings.

The New York Times, New York, NY 6 Jan 1911