Maitland Residents Reflect on Historic Building

Maitland Residents Reflect on Historic Building

Two long-time Maitland residents reflect on their memories at the historic downtown building in Holt County.
(MAITLAND, Mo.) A place that was once used for silent movies and school dances, is now a distant memory.
 
"It's a disappointment to think it's gone because it brought back a lot of good memories that we used to have of things going on there," said Faye Smith.

The Maitland Opera House was built in the 1880s. It provided beverages, snacks and billiards for Holt County residents.

"It was a great place to hang out. We had dances there, I remember going to dances. They had movies there," said Smith.

Around 7 a.m. Saturday morning, authorities received a call about a fire. Four hours later, the historic downtown building, that stood on the corner of Main and 2nd Street, had been reduced to a pile of bricks.

"It hits home really, especially if you look at it now," said Louis Derr.

Louis Derr, 90, and Faye Smith, 99, have been Maitland residents all their lives. Both said it is sad to know a building, that holds so many memories, is gone.

"Really, that was the best building they had in Maitland, I think," said Smith.

"The building affected a lot of people in different ways," said Derr.

Derr said her favorite memory, at the Opera House, occurred on New Year's Eve when she was in high school.

"We were snowed in, we didn't have any place to go but to walk. They had movies going on at the Opera House. So, that was our New Year's celebration," said Derr.

She also described The Opera House as a unique place. She said no other building could ever replace it.

The fire marshal's office continues to investigate the cause of the fire, and authorities continue to search for the owner, Kenneth Rainwater.

The Holt County Sheriff's Department encourages anyone with information on his whereabouts to call (660) 446-3300.
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