The Hamptons Union, June 30, 1921
Mr. and Mrs. E. C. Maheux and son of Boston have returned to Hampton for the summer and they will have Miss L. L. Hayes of Boston and Master Robert Ledger of Dover, N. H. as their guests.
Everett W. Thompson, son of Rev. and Mrs. R. E. Thompson, was graduated from Wesleyan University last week on the honor list. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, the honorary fraternity of best scholars in each class. He is attending the Student Conference at Silver Bay, N. Y.
The picnic of the Baptist Sunday School which was planned for Wednesday of this week has been postponed until next Wednesday, July 6. The committee on sports and stunts has arranged an interesting program: one hundred yards dash, sack race, three-legged race, shoe race, potato race, a ball game and other interesting events. If stormy, the following day.
The Congregational Missionary Society will meet next week on Wednesday with Mrs. Fred Quimby. Mrs. Cole will be one of the hostesses. A quiet wedding took place at the pleasant home of Mrs. Flora E. Lane of this town on Friday morning, June 24, when her friend Mrs. Clara Poor Philbrick became the wife of Mr. Ira C. Miner, until recently of Boston Mass.
The ceremony was performed by the Rev. Edgar Warren. The bride, who wore a very handsome gown of dark blue chiffon taffeta, embroidered in white, and as her only ornament a beautiful brooch, the gift of the groom, was attended by Mrs. Lane and Mrs. Edgar Warren.
Mr. and Mrs. Miner are to make their home at the Philbrick homestead, to the great satisfaction of Mrs. Miner's large circle of friends.
Mrs. Leonora Bradley Wing finished her three years training in the Army school of Nursing this month, graduating in Washington at Walter Reed hospital. In July Mrs. Wing leaves Washington and will visit her parents in Montana. She will be accompanied by her aunt, Miss Adeline C. Marston. The funeral services of Mrs. Ann Matilda Bergh were held at the Baptist church this afternoon. Mrs. Bergh was born in Hampton, March 2, 1846, the daughter of Joshua and Martha A. James. She married and removed to Boston and had four children two of whom are still living. Her brother, Joshua E. James is still living on the old home place.
Mrs. William E. Leavitt and little son, John, arrived in town on Saturday from Garden City, Kansas. They will remain here till August when they will be joined by Mr. Leavitt who could not leave his business sooner. He is manager of a large ranch.
Mrs. Noyes, Mrs. Gates and daughter Madeline are in Hampton, at Mrs. Hugh Brown's, for their eighth summer,
Mrs. Fred Perkins is visiting in Laconia.
Mrs. Elmer Lane and daughter Eleanor are also in Laconia visiting Mrs. Lane's sister.
A very pleasant meeting of the W. C. T. U. was held at Mrs. M. W. Leavitt's Friday last, though few were present.
We wish to bring to the attention of our townspeople of the Radcliffe Chautauqua which will come to town sometime during August. The committee interested in this movement has the backing of the business men of this town and in a short time definite plans will be made regarding it. The course will include three days, and there will be 14 entertainers, including a wide variety. The adult tickets will be $2.00 for the whole course. We are making this announcement so that when you are asked to buy a ticket you will know something in advance about the project.
The bell at the Methodist church has become so out of repair that it has been unsafe to ring it for several months, it has only been tolled. So it will not be possible to ring it in the 4th of July celebration this year as in the past.
A community food sale under the auspices of the Mothers' Circle will be held on the lawn of C. S. Toppan, Friday afternoon at 3 o'clock. If very stormy the sale will be on Sat.
Ocean Side Grange observed its annual Children's Night on June 17. The children furnished the program which consisted of musical selections, both vocal and instrumental, and recitations. A bountiful supply of vanilla ice cream and orange sherbet cones were served by sister Mary L. Noyes and Sarah B. Tobey. Mrs. Tobey had a display of the work accomplished by the sewing class. Dues payable at the next meeting July 1.
Hampton Beach Burned:
For the second time the main section of the business area at Hampton Beach, between B St. on the South and Nudd Avenue on the North, was fire swept and laid in ruins early Sunday morning. It was almost the same territory as that devastated by the big fire of 1915, except the earlier fire crossed Nudd Avenue and destroyed the Ashworth, DeLancey's, the Episcopal church and many cottages in that vicinity. But, owing to the fact that the rebuilt structures following the 1915 fire were much larger and better constructed the fire of this week far exceeded in damage that of the earlier one. It is estimated that the present loss will reach not far from $400,000 with insurance of about $240,000. The 1915 fire caused a loss of $250,000 with a larger per cent of insurance.
The flames were discovered at 3:45 o'clock Sunday morning by Mrs. C. G. Mitchell, manager of the Strand Hotel, which was located above the big Strand bowling alleys just leased by Mr. Carl G. Mitchell, and owned by Goldstein Brothers of Springfield. She was awakened by smoke, and upon going downstairs found the ceiling of the kitchen ablaze, which led to the belief that the fire started from defective wiring.
Mrs. Mitchell aroused guests in the hotel, but so rapid was the spread of flames that some occupants were forced to lower themselves from upstairs windows to the ell of the Janvrin Hotel, from which they made their way to the ground.
So rapid was the spread of the flames from the Strand building that before much help could arrive the Lawrence house in the rear and the big Janvrin hotel to the north were burning and all efforts to check the fire were fruitless.
Realizing that local fire equipment was unable to stop the spread of the fire hurry calls were sent to neighboring localities for aid.
Starting shortly after four o'clock, motor driven apparatus from Portsmouth, Haverhill, Newburyport, Exeter and Amesbury rushed over the roads, and by daylight the equipment from these communities had made record breaking trips from their stations and were aiding the Hampton department.
Different pieces of apparatus were stationed at the vantage points and firemen finally concentrating their efforts, checked the onrush of the flames at the Ashworth Hotel, the largest on the beach. Had the hostelry caught fire it is probable that the flames would have wiped out the resort.
Although handicapped somewhat by low water pressure, the firemen fought a heroic battle against the flames and won in the end.
From the Lawrence House and the Janvrin the course of fire was in three directions: south to B street, destroying the fine Garland block, the Fairview, with stores and hotel; west to Marsh avenue and north to Nudd avenue.
With the rapid spread of flames the fire became the most spectacular ever witnessed in this vicinity. The progress north along the boulevard was irresistible. It crossed A street from the Janvrin to the Sturgis as though they were adjoining buildings, and from the Sturgis the flames were soon eating their way into L. C. Ring's vast property, valued at $100,000, and which included the post-office, many stores, the Olympia theatre, dance hall and big garage.
Meanwhile the flames to the west swept around the curve in Marsh avenue and advanced toward the Ring property, meeting at the Imperial, owned by F. J. O'Dea, one of the best constructed hotels on the beach. The Imperial was soon enveloped in flames, the Jenkins building at the corner of Nudd avenue and Ocean boulevard were burning, dense masses of black smoke were smothering the Ashworth and the handsome cottages in the immediate vicinity when the critical point was reached which was to determine whether the flames could be stayed at this street or the beautiful Ashworth and the most valuable property north of Nudd avenue was to be destroyed. All possible efforts of the various fire companies were concentrated here, but in spite of it all it looked for a while as if it were impossible to make any headway against the fiery demon. Then suddenly the wind shifted, the black smoke and the heat were turned back, the water pressure, which had been low, revived, and in an instant there was hope, which broadened and soon gave way to a certainty of early control; soon after the firemen got the upper hand and the fire was under control. Some of the cottages to the north of Nudd avenue on the lower end of the street were destroyed but otherwise the fire was held on the avenue.
One feature which contributed to success at the critical moment, which was noted after the fire, was that the asbestos shingles which covered the sides and roof of Lamb's cottage at the rear of his store had not burned, but had melted instead.
Business men, residents, and cottagers of Hampton Beach are undaunted. The spirit of the phoenix, which is reputed to have arisen from the ashes, fills everybody. If there had ever been the slightest doubt of the comeback traits of the Hampton Beach folks, it was dispelled with a bang Monday night, when a mass meeting of business men and residents was held in the café of the Ashworth hotel.
The fact that one-half of the beach business and residential territory of this summer resort had been wiped out by the big fire of Sunday, didn't mitigate against enthusiasm. There was enough hurrah and cheerfulness at this meeting to win another World War.
It is estimated that there were in the vicinity of 500 people at the mass meeting. It was presided over by Henry W. Ford, president of Hampton Beach Board of Trade, and his apt introductory remarks were gathered and delivered under the title "How To Come Back in a Hurry." Mr. Ford was happy in his address and introduced as the first speaker, Rev. Father P. J. Scott of Exeter, who for the past seven summers has been the rector of St. Peter's church here.
Father Scott aroused intense enthusiasm. He said that there were many things to be thankful for. One that there was no loss of life and no one had been maimed. He paid a glowing tribute to L. C. Ring, one of the largest property holders before the fire, and who had been hit the hardest by the untimely conflagration, and who already had started in rebuilding operations. Father Scott advised caution on the part of business men and firms who had not been affected by the fire - not to charge exorbitant rates and thus injure the fair name and popularity of the summer resort.
Frederick M. Sise of Portsmouth, an insurance man, stated that by Thursday the insurance companies that he represented would pay over to the insured losers in the vicinity of $275,000, and that this sum would go a long way towards the expense of reconstruction. He drew contrasts between Sunday's big fire and the conflagration of 1915, at which time where was but $95,000 insurance to be paid.
George Ashworth addressed the meeting and requested that a petition be drawn up and signed by fifteen legal voters asking the selectmen to call a special meeting and consider more stringent building laws and the appointment of a building inspector.
J. Frank James of Lawrence, Mass., former president of the board of trade, criticized the lack of fire safety devices at the beach and emphasized the real need of pumping apparatus.
Chief Ring of the beach fire department urged calling upon the board of precinct commissioners for better reservoir facilities, as it was demonstrated that the pressure Sunday was quite inadequate in fighting the terrible contingency that prevailed.
The advisability of continuing the publicity campaign for Hampton beach was discussed. The affirmative was given to the proposition in a most emphatic manner when immediately several thousand dollars was subscribed by the audience to continue the campaign. Something of the idea of the spirit that prevailed may be gained from the action of Mrs. D. A. Munsey, who owned the Janvrin hotel, and who was one of the greatest sufferers by the fire. Mrs. Munsey at once doubled the previous subscription, although she said she had twice been burned out and that she is through with business at the beach for all time. Yet she wanted to show her perfect loyalty to the interests of the resort.
A committee was appointed, consisting of Mrs. D. H. Cushing, Mrs. Louis Hartman, Mrs. J. S. Ceby, Mrs. George Kerr and Miss Villa Johnson, to canvass the cottagers for further subscriptions and also to consider the advisability of holding a tag day on Sunday next.
Animation and enterprise are the two words which describe the situation at Hampton beach at present. There is not a lazy person on the entire beach. Everybody is busy in the initial move towards rehabilitation. Already the start has been made to build the post office and Saturday night will see the structure up and doing business.
Another straw that shows the way the wind of enterprise is blowing was seen in the erection of a tent on the beach in which Mrs. Thomas Hobbs set up her tea room. Mrs. Hobbs, who had conducted a tea room for several seasons in the district which was razed by fire Sunday, lost everything she had and all the furnishings. Undaunted, the lady who originally came from Manchester, opened up a new tea-room under the sheltering spread of canvas.
The plan is to build a frontage of temporary structures from 500 to 1000 feet in length on the ocean front to facilitate business the coming summer. These temporary structures will all be removed in the fall and permanent and more elaborate buildings erected on their site.
L. C. Ring, who owned one of the biggest blocks that was destroyed, has been burned out six times, twice here and four times in Haverhill, yet not once did the fire start on his premises. But Mr. Ring is one of those men who does not permit a little thing like six fires to squelch his spirit, and he is one of the most active men at Hampton Beach today, in the initial move for rebuilding.