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Millers Garage and Hall
Millers Garage and Hall 103 3rd Ave West was built around 1920, on the east of the current Biggar Museum and Gallery. The first record of Millers Garage suggests that it was an agent for Chevrolet and Mclaughlin Buick. On April 5th, 1928, the Biggar Independent printed a W.W. Miller Advertisement, stating prices for Chevrolet cars as follows: Coach $750.00, sedan $835.00, Coupe $740.00 and if you didn't have that kind of money you could buy a new roadster for only $625.00. In 1927, double standard gasoline pumps were installed. This gave motorists a choice of filling up with "common" or "ethyl" gasoline.
The hall above the garage was widely used as a meeting room, dance hall, church services and in the late 1920's there was a Ku Klux Klan meeting held there. Mr. W.W.Miller was a strong presbyterian, and gave use of the hall free of charge for their worship service, before the Saint Andrews Presbyterian Church was built. When a dance was booked in the hall, more supporting pillars were installed. However it is said that the walls went in and out with the music.
One of Biggar's most unforgettable tragedies occurred on that site in 1934, when a farmer with a cutting bar from a binder fastened to the back of the truck pulled in for gas. As he left the bar struck the gas pump shattering it and spraying gasoline all over. At the same time the broken electrical lines caused an instant fire. The operator, Mr. Harold Powell, was doused with gas, and started on fire, this caused severe burns, which led to his death only a few days later.
George Cornish came to town as the chief mechanic, and stayed to open his own business, Cornish's Garage in that same location. The garage and hall were condemned and later demolished. Royden Donahue moved up from 2nd Ave., and built a new building Donahue Farm Service on this lot, for the International Harvest Company Agency. After years of service, he closed his doors and rented the building to Walter Dehmke, who operated the Red and White Store. The last renter was NAPA Autoparts. It was during their occupancy that Mr.Donahue gave the building to the museum. While the building was still occupied by NAPA, in the spring of 1994, a fire completely destroyed the building.
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