CLARKSVILLE, MO (KTVI) – For years the owners of a Clarksville landmark fought off flood waters, but they couldn’t stop an early morning fire from destroying it. Nathalite Pettus owns the Clarksville Station restaurant, “My heart and soul in this for over ten years it was really hard I was definitely in tears.”
Pettus opened the restaurant in 2004. In that time she kept the restaurant high and dry in at least four different floods.
Pettus posted on Facebook, “The Clarksville Station is burning to the ground as I write this. We will rebuild and it will be better than ever. The Overlook Farm family is strong and we will go forward.”
The restaurant is located at 901 South Highway 70 in Clarksville.
Tuesday morning local volunteer firefighters and three area departments did all they could to save the building, but their efforts were slowed by having only one fire hydrant. Fire Chief Tom Beauchamp said, “We don’t have the amount of water it takes to put out a fire that size. It’s a small hydrant. We took every drop of water this town could produce.”
Clarksville Station was important for so many reasons. It was one of the biggest employers in town. Mayor Jo Anne Smiley said, “It’s a huge hole left, economic hole for sure in many ways. It’s a tourist attractions and we depend on tourists.”
The restaurant is part of Pettus’ holdings which include two inns and a brand new reception hall. She’s determined not to layoff anyone and keep her employees working at those locations. Pettus said, “I told them their jobs were safe and I needed them.”
She said she will rebuild immediately, probably on higher ground so she doesn’t have to worry about flooding. Pettus added, “Who has time to cry, you can’t. You got to go forward, look at all the people in the world who deal with disasters, they pick up and go forward.”
Fire officials have not found the cause. Because it is a huge loss and because the fire department is volunteers the state fire marshal has been called in to investigate.
Pettus said all events scheduled like weddings will still take place if not here at one of her other locations.