Fire destroyed the business district of Zimmerman on 4 May 1906, causing more than $30,000 in damages. The Sherburne County Star News reported although the community would rebuild, the fire recovery presented significant challenges.
Charles Iliff discovered the fire and sounded the alarm at three in the morning. Smoke coming from the warehouse of English & Co. signaled the beginning of the coming disaster. The newspaper reported the fire destroyed English & Co’s building, “probably the largest stock of good in the county.” An estimate from just this store put losses at over $20,000. The fire also destroyed J.W. Mode’s General Store, the Zimmerman Post Office, and the G.N. Stendahl building. Firefighters saved the A.O.U.W. Hall and the Zimmerman creamery.
The lack of insurance coverage proved equally difficult to several businesses. The newspaper reported that although English was covered for $19,000 of insurance, Mode carried only $1500 of insurance and the Stendahl Building was insured for only $500. In spite of this, the Star News concluded, “the prospects now seem to be the burned buildings will be rebuilt … of brick or cement.”