When the Red River Lumber Company established its company town of Westwood in 1913, it had to provide numerous amenities due to its remote location at the time. It was necessary to not only attract employees, but to retain them, as the lumber industry experienced a high turn over rate in labor. The Westwood Club was one of several facilities designed to meet the recreational needs of its employees. It included a restaurant, lunch counter, soda fountain, cigar and newsstand, barbershop, reading room and a billiard room.
On early Friday morning, March 31, 1944 a fire broke out in the Westwood Club though the cause, was never determined. Within twenty minutes the whole building was engulfed in flames. The heat so intense, that Nick Kannier’s automobile which was parked in front of building, burst into flames. Even neighboring buildings from across the street were smoking, on the verge of spontaneous combustion, which with quick action by the fire department prevented the same.
The J.R. Bartlett Company were the concessionaire of the Westwood Club, which included the clubhouse, cafe, pool hall, bar and lounge. There were four other tenants in the building—Ehorn’s Pharmacy, Quitman’s Apparel, Westwood Market and Kilpatric’s Used Furniture department. Estimated loss for all parties was placed at $125,000.