1908 - FIRE DESTROYS LOOKOUT INN AND FOUR COTTAGES. NOTED HOTEL ON LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN GOES UP IN SMOKE.
SPECTACULAR BLAZE FOLLOWED BY CLOUDS OF SMOKE SEEN FROM CHATTANOOGA. TIMBER FIRES FEARED.
Chattanooga, Tenn., Nov. 17. - The famous old Lookout Inn on the crest of Lookout Mountain was burned to the ground this afternoon, together with all its contents, and also four cottages in close proximity to the hotel. The owners, MSSRS. JUNG and SHAMOTOULSKI, stated that a deal had just been consummated for the sale of the inn property for a consideration of $135,000, and but for the fire the deal would have been closed today. There was but $20,000 insurance on the hotel and furnishings.
Aside from the hotel, the four cottages and their contents were destroyed, entailing a loss estimated at $16,000. The amount of insurance on these could not be learned.
The incline power house was badly damaged and the trestle on the face of the bluff was ablaze for a considerable time. Tonight there is a streak of fire almost from the top to the base of Lookout Mountain along the line of the incline, and a force of men is fighting to prevent its spread to the timber and many cottages on the slope of the mountain.
The fire started in the south wing of the hotel building, but the exact cause has not yet been ascertained. The generally accepted theory is that a defective flue is responsible.
From the city the fire was a spectacular one during its early progress, but soon the mountain was entirely enveloped in a dense cloud of smoke, and all that could be seen from high points in the city was what appeared as a terrible storm cloud rolling from the southwest. With the coming of darkness, however, the smoke cleared and the outline of the crest of old Lookout was marked by a rim of red fire, with the downward mark resembling a huge figure "9." Telephone connection to the mountain is badly crippled, and it is impossible tonight to get in communication with the owners of the hotel. It is definitely known, however, that there will be no attempt in the near future to rebuild the inn.
The hotel was completed in 1882 at a cost of $150,000 and contained about 400 rooms. Each succeeding season following its operation it has been visited by persons of note from all over the world. Prince Henry of Prussia pronounced it the most ideal spot he had visited, and the scenery more gorgeous than that of the Swiss Alps. There were no casualties so far as can be learned.
The Galveston Daily News
November 18, 1908
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