Valley Bar Aftermath

I did make it down to Centerville today to take some pictures of the Valley Bar. The damage is almost total; a couple of walls are standing, and the Men’s room is almost intact, but the rest of the bar is gone.

A small crew was out clearing away debris, sifting through the rubble for anything that could be saved. There wasn’t much. Slot machines were destroyed, TVs were melted, and the roof caved in on the pool table. But apparently the fridge was still intact, and there was still cold beer inside. So the work crew, which I believe was mostly made up of regular customers and friends of the owners, were able to have one last drink around the bar.

Looking from some angles, you could almost believe that the damage was minor. The fire department did a good job of saving as much of the building as they could. But the fire had a head start on them, and the building was just too old and flammable for them to have a chance. The northwest corner, shown below, was really the only part that wasn’t completely destroyed. But inside those solid walls, most everything is charred, and the parts that aren’t burnt have massive water damage.

But the front door still stands, and an American flag flies proudly over the porch. This is a rough day for a lot of people, but there’s always promise for the future. It seems like the Valley Bar was more about the people than the building; the number of folks hanging around offering support today proved that. So if the bar is rebuilt, it may not have the same charm, but it will still have the same heart.

For a bunch more pictures of the aftermath, check out the Flickr photo set I put together.

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