The day has come where it’s time to say goodbye to an important piece of Historic Downtown Hollister’s history.
It’s been more than a year since a fire took the historic Mule Barn Feed and Supplies, and demolition is officially underway.
According to Branson Tri-Lakes News archives, the Mule Barn fire took place July 21, 2018.
According to court documents, the fire started when Jesse Wilbur, then 18, was smoking methamphetamine and threw his lighter into a pile of hay, which ignited.
Court documents state that information regarding Wilbur’s involvement in the fire came from a man who was arrested on a warrant approximately a month after the fire.
The witness said he saw Wilbur, from his residence, running away from the scene about five minutes before he spotted the fire.
Wilbur allegedly told the witness about a week after the fire that he attempted to put out the fire, without any luck, and then fled the scene and did not report it to authorities.
Upon his arrest, Wilbur denied the allegations and told the police he arrived only after the fire had started and had assisted firefighters at the scene, which a Hollister officer would confirm.
According to the report, the officer said he had not seen Wilbur helping firefighters.
According to online court records, Wilbur was arrested on charges for reckless burning or exploding and other unrelated charges of 2nd degree property damage. Wilbur later pleaded guilty to both charges.
The Mule Barn location is, and will remain, a memory-filled site for its previous visitors.
“Once they get it cleaned up, they are going to just turn it to green space,” said Rick Ziegenfuss, Hollister City Administrator.
The Mule Barn was a part of Historic Downtown Hollister for more than 70 years.