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CMA Trunk Room fire, 1918

Culver Military Academy’s Trunk Room began its life as theTabernacle for the chautauqua hotel Henry Harrison Culver built at the site of today’s Main Barracks, for the 1889 chautauqua season (famous evangelist T. Dewitt Talmage spoke there). It became the Culver Military Academy gymnasium when the school was started in 1894, and the school’s dining hall when the brick gymnasium was built in 1907. When the current dining hall began its life in 1911, the former Tabernacle was moved and became a trunk room, housing cadet luggage and belongings.

In January, 1918, a stovepipe fire started the conflagration, which consumed the building in just 30 minutes.

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