Community Starts Online Fundraiser After Arthur’s Barn is Destroyed by Fire

The celebrated venue holds decades of memories from dances to concerts

ARTHUR, ND — An iconic venue for dances and concerts in rural Cass County has burned to the ground.

Arthur’s Barn, formerly known as Johnson’s barn, is considered a total loss.

Flames engulfed a popular destination filled with memories of good times just after 1:30 this afternoon.

“It’s just really sad,” said Dawn Moore who lives near the barn. “Part of the town, part of the history.”

For hours, fire fighters fought heavy winds and the year’s first snowfall while working to take down the fire.

“You think of the staple and the friendships and the good times and the family moments that this place has obviously provided, it’s very sad,” Cass County Sgt. Tim Briggeman told us.

For decades, this barn just north of Arthur along highway 18, hosted hundreds of events.

For many years, the barn was a popular venue with memories of many school dances and first dates.

When neighbors first heard about the fire, many of them came up to see it for the last time.

“My husband and I had our first date here,” Moore said. “College term party. Anyone who’s been to college knows what they were like. Our daughter brought friends home from the University of Minnesota Duluth one weekend because they could not believe there was actually a dance place with pigs on the main floor.”

She said many pictures from events at the barn are still on the business’s Facebook page.

“What an absolutely tragic situation that’s taken place in the community of Arthur,” Briggeman said. “As far as the cause of the fire, none of that is even close to being determined. Prayers to the family at this point, with an intent that they stay healthy.”

The barn still had several dances and concerts booked for the rest of the year, now canceled since this piece of Arthur history is gone.

“All the memories, and the Johnson family who grew up with it and all,” Moore said.

The Johnson family declined comment at this time.

A GoFundMe page to help rebuild the barn has already raised about $1,000.

Deputies say state highway 18 is still open, but they ask drivers to stay cautious when passing through this area.

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