The Echo Burned To The Ground

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The Hamptons Union, Thursday, August 21, 1913

"The Echo" before the fire, now "Odyssey House" in 2005, 30 Winnacunnet Road
[Postcard photo not in original newspaper article]

The Echo, a large boarding house at Hampton, owned by Mrs. Orren Stevens, was totally destroyed by fire Friday afternoon, August 15, 1913. The loss is estimated at between $4,000 and $5,000.

The fire was discovered shortly before 3 pm. As there are no facilities for fighting a fire here, the town having no water supply, the wooden building was enveloped in flames within a few minutes. A call for help was sent to Exeter and Portsmouth, and the automobile chemical from the latter city made a quick trip to assist out department. They did good work but the credit belongs to the Hampton department, under direction of Chief King and his entire deputies, that the flames were so miraculously confined to the Stephens house, as several wooden buildings, including the famous Whittier hotel and the telephone exchange, were in close proximity to the burning building, a serious conflagration was feared for a time.

The Baptist parsonage was somewhat damaged, as was the telephone office, which was the closest building to the Echo. The girl operators remained at their posts throughout the fire, although it was expected that the flames would spread to this structure at any moment.

The guests at the Whittier hotel moved all their personal effects from the hotel, and nearly all of the furniture was also taken out, as it appeared at first as if all the buildings in the section, which is the center of the town of Hampton, were doomed to destruction.

The scene of the fire is on the main line of the Exeter, Hampton, and Amesbury Electric railway, and cloud of smoke attracted many from Hampton Beach, Rye Beach, Exeter, Amesbury and Newburyport. The fire was considered under control about 5 o'clock, with a loss of $5,000.

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