|Cornelia A. Greene Library, Castile, New York|
The 1918 arson of the auditorium was a terrible loss from which the Assembly never recovered. The programming of the 1920s, though still vigorous and very well attended, had to adjust to the smaller facilities of Epworth Hall for their main gatherings. Luckily, the Sunday School Association's needs were somewhat different and a very large auditorium was not essential. Back then, many of the cottages within the grounds were utilized for guests attending the special summer events.
The Assembly was officially renamed Institute within two years of the fire, since the facilities no longer accommodated the Chautauqua style. Fortunately, the Epworth Inn (formerly the Hall of Philosophy) had been returned to the Assembly shortly after the fire. Hoag Memorial and the W.C.T.U. building, later renamed Stoody Chapel, then Stoody Memorial, were also still available to the Institute following the dramatic fire. Two young boys, 8 and 10, from one of the rentals on the grounds were found to be responsible for the fire. We were still a gated community at that point.