Spectacular Fire Guts Carnival Dance Hall

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Rockingham County Gazette & Hamptons Union , November 28, 1929

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

Carnival Dance Hall
[Photo not in original newspaper article]

 One of the most spectacular fires that we have had along this coast in some time took place a little after midnight on Monday [November 25th], leveling the greater part of The Carnival dance hall to a bed of ashes.

A coast guard, new in the service, passing the hall noticed the fire and instead of pulling in the alarm he kept on to the Life Saving Station, where he reported that the dance hall was on fire. It was somehow taken for granted that the dance hall referred to was the one at the Casino and it is understood that such a report was telephoned to the Fire Department which dashed up to the in double-quick time only to find, after spending considerable time hunting around, that all was well and just as it is likely to be on a cold, uninteresting night in November at the beach.

A trifle disgusted, they started back to the engine house, just in time to see the reflection in the water of the flames from the burning Carnival. The fire was well underway and the blaze could be seen for miles out to sea.

They pulled in their own alarm, a bit unusual for a fire department to have to do and raced to the blazing structure. This was at 12:20 a.m. and between the hours of 12:20 and dawn three alarms were sounded, but no outside aid was called.

The loss is approximately $25,000 and is more than half covered by insurance. When the UNION  reporter visited the place just the front and one side wall remained standing. The café underneath was the biggest loser, the
kitchen utensils, etc., being a total wreck. The exits and entrances are all roped off and it is impossible to get very near, but, after all, there isn’t much to see, only the smouldering ruins of a place where thousands have tripped merrily across the waxed floors that are not charred and water soaked.

The dance hall was built five or six years ago by two promoters, Messrs. Denault & Blackwell, and later was sold to Armas Guyon who had two very successful seasons there before the enlargement of the Casino dance hall. The property was heavily insured and was advertised to be sold at mortgagee’s sale November 30, in favor of B. T. Janvrin who furnished the lumber for its construction. The loss was about $25,000 with insurance of $15,000.

The origin of the fire is under investigation.

Many See Carnival Dance Hall Ruins

December 5, 1929

Nearly 5,000 people came to the beach Sunday to view the ruins of the fire, which last Monday morning destroyed the Dance Carnival at Great Boar’s Head.

From ten in he morning until late in the afternoon there was a steady line of automobile traffic, the majority of the cars having Massachusetts registration plates. The few places that were open on the beach did a thriving business.

As a  result of the investigation the authorities now are inclined to abandon the incendiary origin theory. Fire Chief Homer B. Whiting is of the belief that the blaze was caused by a cigaret from a “petting party” in the rear of the building.

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