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Old 12-18-2004, 09:43 PM   #1
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Default 74 Years Ago - Dec. 22, 1939

A day to remember....The day the original Mount Washington burned.

The first picture is from Photopost




The second picture is taken from Follow The Mount by Bruce D. Heald Ph.D.
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Old 12-19-2004, 05:22 AM   #2
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Two things came to mind at these pictures -- the first I'd ever seen of the burned Old Mount:

1939 was the year of a really bad hurricane that passed through Winnipesaukee. Knocked down a lot of trees. How did the Old Mount "weather" that?

Did the Mount have a coal- or wood-fired boiler? (Asking only because there's that big drum on the pier next to it -- Was that for diesel fuel?)
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Old 12-21-2004, 06:34 AM   #3
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Mad, I believe the hurricane you are referring to was in 1938. In that storm, something like 3/4 of all the pine trees in the state were toppled. I wasn't there but my dad likes to describe the event. SS
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Old 12-21-2004, 09:02 AM   #4
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Smile You don't remember the 1939 Hurricane?

Yeah, you're right -- 1938 Hurricane. Senior moment.

Maples too. It must have been much worse than Hurricane Bob. "Bob" only caused all the big pines around the lake to lean. (Including mine).

But wood-or-coal-or-maybe-diesel still eludes what actually powered the Old Mount. A few other factoids found were:

1) It was a one-cylinder engine (42" Bore X 10-foot Stroke).
2) It was the fastest boat on the lake, losing one race to another boat only because the other boat had hidden behind an island and already had a full head of steam. (The Old Mount couldn't accelerate in time to match its speed).
3) The 1939 fire started at the train station, and burned to the Mount.
4) The Old Mount once ran aground at Wolfeboro's dock, but "powered off" OK with just its "one cylinder" engine.
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Old 12-21-2004, 01:02 PM   #5
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Default Farewell Old Mount Washington

Excerpt from Farewell Old Mount Washington; The Story of the Steamboat Era on Lake Winnipesaukee by Edward H. Blackstone
Published in 1969 by the Steamship Historical Society of America

During the final part of the career of the big steamboat, MT. Washington, two young men worked on her during their college vacation. They liked steamboating so well that they decided to become steamboat owners. They informed their father, Michael Carroll, who was postmaster of Laconia, and together they made an offer to Captain Leander Lavallee to purchase MT. Washington. A down payment was made with provisions that certain conditions concerning repair and maintenance be met and that title of ownership would be transferred in April, 1940, when a second payment would be made. This, of course, never transpired, and Captain Leander Lavallee was still owner of his big boat when she was destroyed.
The details of this final episode in the career of MT. Washington must be a part of this story and are here recorded as told to the writer by Captain Edward Lavallee, son of her last commander.



The big boat was customarily moored in The Weirs Channel, near Endicott Rock, during the winter months, where the running water prevented formation of heavy ice.
Captain and Mrs. Lavallee usually lived aboard the boat, but in the fall of 1939, having purchased a home at The Weirs, had moved ashore.
It was necessary to make certain repairs on the boat which included the installation of a heavy timber that supported the shaft of the paddlewheels on the starboard side of the ship. It was decided that it would be easier to do this work with the steamer moored to the dock at The Weirs, with the starboard side moored to the dock and the bow to the shore.
On Dec. 23, 1939, work that had been in progress for several weeks was nearly completed. Just after eight o'clock in the evening, an over-heated stove in the railroad station had started a fire. It was discovered by Fred Moore, a local hotel owner who was passing. He noted that the stove was filled high with coal, that the door of the stove was open and that live coals had fallen out and started a fire which was spreading rapidly. He promptly notified the local fire department.
The complex of railroad buildings, which included station, souvenir shop, platforms and wharf were principally hard pine construction and highly flammable.
Firemen and apparatus from Lakeport and Laconia joined the local fire company and about 5,000 feet of hose was laid in eight lines but the fire could not be contained. Frantic workers broke away the inch-thick ice which had formed about the ship but it was impossible to move her because the seasonal lowering of the water level of the lake had caused her to be hard aground at the bow.
Captain Lavallee made a prodigious effort to reach his beloved and now-doomed ship, which he could see burning, but his exertions and a weakened heart caused him to have a fainting spell and he did not reach the vicinity of the fire until near mid-night when the flames finally died down.
The following morning only smoking ruins and blackened iron work told the sad story of the end of a once-reigning queen.
MT. Washington was estimated to be worth about $100,000 and was partially insured. The damage to the old Boston and Maine Railroad station was about $75,000 and other damage in the area including burning of a sightseeing seaplane brought the total to about $200,000.
The spectators had watched with heavy hearts as MT. Washington burned to the water's edge.
A grand old friend had gone.

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Old 12-21-2004, 01:16 PM   #6
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Default Hurricane

Excerpt from Three Centuries On Winnipesaukee by Paul H. Blaisdell

The boats that figure in the speed contests are those which contribute to the adventure surrounding the storms which stand out in memory as being the worst ever encountered on the lake. This is particularly true of the famous hurricane of the early 1900's which, in the minds of the boatmen who experienced it and are living today, takes first place among the Winnipesaukee tales of stormy seas.
Several outstanding events of this particular storm will remain forever in the annals of the "big lake." It was a northwester, coming with terrible suddenness down out of the mountains. It gave ample warning as the storm clouds gathered, but all believed it to be just another hard thunder-shower that, though intense, would pass quickly. Picture for yourselves the positions of several steamboats on the lake just before the storm unleashed its fury.
The "Mount Washington" was coming up from Wolfeboro and was near Sandy Island, in a position to take the waves "on the bow quarter." The "Carroll" was approaching Union Landing, having passed Chase's Point and due to continue past Melvin and Chase's Islands to the landing. Thus the "Carroll"
was less exposed to the force of the storm, being slightly in the lee of several islands. The "Maid of the Isles" was about to round Governor's Island and head in to Weirs between Governor's and Eagle, being, like the "Mount Washington," exposed to the full sweep of the wind.
Whereas at one second the wind and rain were at a distance, coming down the lake, at another the blast had struck. Moses Warren was piloting the "Mount," and when the big boat began to bury her bow under each wave, he realized that this was more than the ordinary shower. In an effort to meet the storm from a better direction he attempted to turn the boat about and "ride with the wind," but in the turn the ship laid over on her side until water poured across her deck. Before the turn was completed, a gigantic wave and gust of wind had taken away a large section of the port wheel-house. Finally the "Mount" rode with the waves, and continued to hold that position until the storm subsided. The "Carroll" had an easier experience for herself, but what her passengers and crew saw happen was sufficient evidence of her narrow escape. When the wind and rain arrived, the "Carroll's" captain and pilot, realizing their intensity, stopped the boat and managed to hold her position. Everything was shut off from their view. When the storm began, Chase's Island was just ahead of them, a thickly timbered, verdant island. When the rain abated, and the island could be seen again, not a single piece of that timber remained standing.



The "Maid of the Isles" had reached Eagle Island narrows when the storm struck, for those on shore at Weirs who were waiting for the boat plainly saw her come around the end of Governor's and pass between the islands—then the rain and wind shut out all view. A few minutes later, when the visibility brought the entire Weirs Bay into range, the "Maid" was nowhere to be seen, and those who had watched her start across the bay shouted the alarm throughout Weirs and frantically notified authorities at Laconia that the "Maid of the Isles" had gone down in the storm with "all hands on board." Such was not the case, however, for the wind in The Weirs Bay had not come from one direction, and the "Maid," buffeted by a gale from all quarters, had been driven, in those few minutes, about two miles off her course. When Captain Blackstone and his pilot got their first sight of land after the rain passed, they found themselves in the shadow of the hill on the northwest side of Meredith Bay, well in near shore. They soon steamed down the lake to Weirs, only to find the distracted crowds making plans for the recovery of the boat, its passengers and crew, from their supposed watery grave.
Survey after the storm indicated that its greatest intensity passed in a narrow belt from Center Harbor down over Moultonboro Neck, across the north tip of Long Island and the many islands to the east, and away from the lake south of Union Landing. The whole storm had a path ten miles wide, and anywhere in that path had been dangerous. A water-spout arose from the lake near Moultonboro Neck, came on land and tore timberlots to shreds before it broke up.
Such was the course of this great storm, and there has evidently not been one like it before or since. True, the smokestack was blown clear from the steamer "Winnipesaukee" at one time, and high winds and storms still buffet boats both large and small, but the concentrated force of this hurricane has yet to have an equal.
From this I do not want anyone to deduce that Winnipesaukee is a "tame" place during a strong wind. Waves running from four to ten feet in height are seen each year. I remember crossing "The Broads" in an open boat in 1915 when, for fear I might be washed overboard, I was tied to a chair that was built into the boat hull. The grown-ups certainly trusted both boat and pilot, and I will avow even today that the trip from Sandy Island to Jolly Island in that northwest wind was a rugged introduction to Winnipesaukee's angriest waves. I have since been told that people on Steamboat and Birch Islands watched our progress with the firm belief that after each time the boat disappeared in the trough of the waves it would never be seen again.
Probably the roughest spot with the highest waves in a northwester is at Parker's Island, where the full sweep of open water has given ample space to pile up the "rollers." Unlike the immense "swells" of the sea, though, the waves on the lake are nearer together and more sharply pointed. After every fifth wave there is a lull. In this calm the wise lake navigator makes his turns and course changes during a "blow."
The northwester brings the worst water conditions on Winnipesaukee. With Parker's Island other noted bad spots during such a wind are from Sandy to Jolly Islands, Winter Harbor to Rattlesnake Island, Weirs Bay from Eagle Island to The Weirs, Melvin Bay from Black Island to Melvin Village, and the entire lower end of the lake from Barndoor Island to Little Mark Island. It must be said that these northwest blows seldom come without warning, and when the waves run high in the sheltered places, it is almost certain that navigation will have its difficulties in the open water. Then, too, a northwester is almost certain of three days duration; even though the wind "goes down with the sun" each night, it generally springs up with the first streak of dawn.
The same judgment that prevents one from taking a chance in his automobile will stand in good stead while navigating on Winnipesaukee. There are times when a boat is better kept in its boathouse or at its dock. The sudden storm we cannot foresee. Then we must use our skill to ride it out, but, in all conditions, good judgment is a prime requisite of the Winnipesaukee navigator.
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Old 12-21-2004, 07:51 PM   #7
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Question Big drum for ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by madrasahs
Two things came to mind at these pictures -- the first I'd ever seen of the burned Old Mount:

1939 was the year of a really bad hurricane that passed through Winnipesaukee. Knocked down a lot of trees. How did the Old Mount "weather" that?

Did the Mount have a coal- or wood-fired boiler? (Asking only because there's that big drum on the pier next to it -- Was that for diesel fuel?)
1'st - kudos to SCG and RG, these are also the first pics of the burned old Mt that I've seen.

2'nd - WRT to the big drum and the old Mt's fuel. I couldn't find anything about what she used for fuel, though oil wouldn't be out of the question (her replacement was an oil burner). I couldn't find out whom B&M contracted to build her. For that matter it's not a sure thing that the old Mt even used the big drum, perhaps it was for other ships ? I'll add some fuel to the fire so to speak and ask if the drum might have been used for water storage. Steamers use up water and while I suspect they could draw water from the lake whilst underway I wonder if that's true when sitting at dock. Could it be that the drum stored water for those that couldn't drink from the lake ? Or for a quickie fill-up ?? I wonder because I might suspect the fire was hot enough to ignite oil vapors exitting the top pipe (seen in the pics), thus destroying the drum ?
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Old 12-22-2004, 05:31 AM   #8
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hey RG, thats a cool picture of the old mount docked in the channel. it also shows a good view of how endicott rock looked before the fill was brought in to create the beach. thanks for the excerpt, i'll have to keep an eye out for the book now.
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Old 12-22-2004, 07:49 AM   #9
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Mmmmm! Good question about the tank on the dock by the old Mount!
As I look at the pictures, it looks like the fire was burning with a very high heat. I think if it was any type of combustible material it would have ruptured and perhapes exploded into a big ball of fire.
Maybe it could have been used as a holding tank. Maybe they could pump out the gray and black water from the Mount. My opinon!
This is a good question for Mr.Heald! Does anyone know Mr.Heald?
Maybe they could contact him and ask him for the right answer.

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Old 12-22-2004, 08:17 AM   #10
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Great thread Senter Cove Guy!

Could the big drum that is not part of the Mount be part of the train station? The old building came way out from the shore and the drum is not in any of the old photographs. I can find no mention of what fuel was used. Wood seems to be the most common, as it is readily available.

Perhaps this scan of her plans might help. Taken from Farewell Old Mount Washington. The picture is huge to allow greater detail, so I am putting it as a link to PhotoPost.

Mt. Washington Boiler and Engine Plans
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Old 12-22-2004, 08:55 AM   #11
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Default Old Mount fuel not oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rattlesnake Gal
Great thread Senter Cove Guy!

Could the big drum that is not part of the Mount be part of the train station? The old building came way out from the shore and the drum is not in any of the old photographs. I can find no mention of what fuel was used. Wood seems to be the most common, as it is readily available.

Perhaps this scan of her plans might help. Taken from Farewell Old Mount Washington. The picture is huge to allow greater detail, so I am putting it as a link to PhotoPost.

Mt. Washington Boiler and Engine Plans
From the boiler/engine plan that RG posted (where do you get all this stuff ) I deduce that the old Mount's fuel was either coal or wood, certainly not oil or diesel. There's the shape & size of the furnaces and mention of ash pans and dumping the ash overboard by the paddlewheel (ash disposal unit). Are there plans of the old Mount around ? Do they list coal bunkers or some fuel storage area ?? Still no clue as to the nature of the big drum by the dock. Mad has sparked some bona-fide mysteries (fuel, drum) here, certainly "we" can solve them
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Old 12-22-2004, 11:24 AM   #12
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with the mention of the mail plane being lost in the fire also, could this tank have been used for the storage of av-gas??? from what i understand av-gas in the 30's was no more flamable than the gas we use in our vehicles today.
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Old 12-22-2004, 11:48 AM   #13
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Arrow

I was told by local residents in Gilford that the original Mt Washington use to stop at Lake Shore Park for wood and water. Does anyone know about this as being true? If it is then the big tank is probably use to hold water for steam combustion. I was wondering why they don't use the lake water?
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Old 12-22-2004, 05:05 PM   #14
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Default Real Photo of the Old Mount





CLICK HERE for enlarged version of photo
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Old 12-22-2004, 07:06 PM   #15
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Thumbs up I'm on the case!!!

I will have an answer by tomorrow evening! Otherwise this question will drive me crazy.
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Old 12-22-2004, 08:46 PM   #16
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Question Mystery drum in the building

Looking at mcdude's "real photo", does anyone else think they see the mystery drum in the leftmost, lower opening (just behind the person going up the ramp) in the building in front of the Mount ?
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Old 12-23-2004, 03:26 PM   #17
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Default No definitive answer.

Spoke with Dr. Heald today, and he and I agree that the tank must have been in the lower floor of the station. Neither one of us knows what it was for. Could it possibly have been a containment tank for septic systems? I assume they used to pump of the old Mount at the Weirs. Possibly this was a holding tank for either the Mount or the Train Station??? If some one had the floor plan of the RR station it might help solve this mystery.
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Old 12-24-2004, 02:27 PM   #18
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Default Fuel for thought?

Mee-N Mac must be an engineer.

As stated the fact that the boiler has stoker grates and an ash removal system leaves out the possibility of fuel oil of any kind. Without any forced combustion air (there are no fans in these, very complete plans) fuel oil could not burn. Whats more when this engine was built fuel oil was unavailable. That leaves us with wood or coal.

Coal sounds like a good choice. Remember, the Mount was owned by a rail road company. They would have easy access to coal and rail transportation would have been cheap and easy. My problem with coal is where did they store the it?

When the Mount was built, help me with this one RIG, I don't think that the RR went to Wiers. That would only leave Alton for coal bunkers. I can not remember ever seeing pictures of coal bunkers either at Alton or Wiers.

Wood was available, cheap and could be picked up at various locations around the Lake. They could have picked it up in small lots during stops eliminating the need for large bunkers on board.

I once read that one of the main commodities shipped by the horseboats was wood fuel for the steamers. This wood came from islands like Stonedam.

At a guess I would say that wood is the best choice for fuels.

As for the tank on the pier. What ever the contents, if it was flamable it would have burned. It is probably quality water for for boiler feed. They may have used lake water for boiler make up in the early days but no engineer would allow unfiltered, untested feed water to enter his boiler in the 1930s.

Yup. I go for wood furnace and water for the tank.

By the way. Rig you are too much! I loved the drawing of the walking beam engine!

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Old 12-25-2004, 01:14 AM   #19
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Talking Birthday

I love the topic. I did not realize I was born on the anniversary of the burning of the Mount.
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Old 12-25-2004, 04:59 AM   #20
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Happy Belated Birthday, Island Girl. Hope everything is well with you in Central Mass.

And Happy Holidays to all on the forum.

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Old 12-26-2004, 06:29 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Misty Blue
As stated the fact that the boiler has stoker grates and an ash removal system leaves out the possibility of fuel oil of any kind. Without any forced combustion air (there are no fans in these, very complete plans) fuel oil could not burn. Whats more when this engine was built fuel oil was unavailable. That leaves us with wood or coal.
Does anyone know if it was possible to use either wood or coal in the same boiler?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Misty Blue
When the Mount was built, help me with this one RIG, I don't think that the RR went to Wiers. That would only leave Alton for coal bunkers. I can not remember ever seeing pictures of coal bunkers either at Alton or Wiers.
The railroad made it to Laconia before Alton Bay.
Now that you mention the trains, coal could have been easily used because of them. Can we tell from these old photos whether it was coal or wood being burned? Isn’t coal smoke very black? There are many shots of the piers with wood, but that doesn't rule out coal.








On August 8, 1848, the Boston, Concord & Montreal Railroad between Concord and Meredith Bridge (Laconia) opened. The following year, the road was extended to Lake Village (Lakeport).
In 1839 a charter was granted to the Dover & Winnipesaukee Railroad to build tracks from Dover to Alton Bay, a total of 29 miles. This charter lapsed, but eight years later another was granted under the name of Cocheco Railroad. By 1848 the tracks had been laid as far as Farmington and a year later were completed to Alton Bay.
In 1847 a charter was granted to build the Lake Shore Railroad between Laconia and Alton Bay. This 18-mile road was established to connect the Cocheco road & the Boston, Concord & Montreal Railroad. Due to lack of finances, the construction was postponed for over 40 years, leaving the original charter to expire. Finally, 1883, the charter was granted to Charles Busiel and his associates. The line was finally constructed by the Concord Railroad Corporation and the Lake Shore Line officially opened in Laconia on June 17, 1890, connecting Alton Bay to Lakeport.

The Mount Washington made her first trip on July 4, 1872, with Alton Bay, Meredith, Center Harbor, Long Island and Wolfeboro on her schedule of ports.
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Old 12-28-2004, 11:55 PM   #22
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Default From The Granite State News, December 29, 1939

FAMOUS OLD LAKE SIDEWHEELER CREMATED AT THE WEIRS WHARF
LOSS OF $200,000
Railroad Station, Dock, Seaplane, Trainshed, Boardwalk Burned
LAVALLEE OVERCOME
State And Regional Officials Meet With Owners To Plan Rehabilitation

The “Mount Washington”, famous old sidewheeler known throughout the country by visitors to New Hampshire, was completely destroyed by fire Friday night, December 22, at The Weirs, where it was laid up for the winter. The fire apparently started in the Boston & Maine station, and was carried by a northeast wind down the “Mount Washington” dock and into the steamer itself, leaving the boat a skeleton of twisted steel.

The walking beam which so many of us as children watched with fascination, lay across the twisted remains of one of the old paddle wheels. About six feet of the bowsprit remained. A strange fact is that although the boat was virtually consumed to the waterline, it still remained afloat. It took considerable imagination to picture the remains as having been a boat.

Fire started shortly before 8:30 and was discovered by Leon Horne who was attending a grange meeting. He called fire and gave the alarm to Fireman Henry Allard. He notified the Laconia department and a general alarm was sounded.

Fire Chief Arthur W. Spring said that the fire started from a stove in the building. He is still investigating and has not given out a formal statement as to the cause this noon.

Horne in Charge

Archie Macomber, who has been the station agent for 27 and a half years attended the funeral of his brother-in-law in Craftsbury, Vt., yesterday and was on his way home during the fire, arriving at 9:50. He left Leon Horne in charge of the station. Leon told him, he said, that there was no fire in the passenger station waiting room as it went out and he didn’t bother to rebuild it.

Mr. Macomber said he believed that the fire started in the basement, probably in the workshop in which Capt. Lavallee and Engineer Fred Dearborn had been working during the day.

The B. & M.’s loss includes baggage trucks and equipment. The little money in the station was locked away in the safe which must be in the ruins. Mr. Macomber lost his adding machine and typewriter.

He said he thought the station was 50 years old. This morning a combination baggage and mail car arrived to be used as a temporary ticket, baggage and mail office.

Train Flagged

The southbound milk train was flagged to a stop above the fire by Police Chief Hubbard and after more than a half hour wait was switched over to another track and allowed to chug slowly past.

The fire lit the sky and could be seen for many miles. “Sparks” clogged traffic on the Boulevard and White Oaks and youngsters were seen in Lakeport thumbing rides to the fire. Special Police Officer Ted Dagenais directed traffic at the foot of the hill and the junction of The Weirs main street. Police Chief George N. Hubbard and Deputy Chief Charles E. Dunleavy were on duty also.

Fortunate it was in one way that the wind was blowing briskly from the northwest keeping the flames and sparks away from Irwin’s Winnipesaukee Gardens only a couple hundred feet from the blazing Mount and railroad station and the campground would have gone.

All but one piece of apparatus from the Laconia and Lakeport stations aided the Weirs firemen. About five thousand feet of hose was laid in eight lines but there was not a stream that could reach the flaming boat. Firemen concentrated on putting out the burning board walk and wetting down the Irwin’s Gardens. They were unable to get to the lake to pump water.

Motorists had to walk in some cases more than a mile from where they parked their cars. Cars were left as far away as Mrs. Lillian B. Carroll’s home on The Boulevard, on the hills on both sides of the bridges and Tower Hill and adjoining streets that overlook The Weirs bay. Because of the biting wind and low temperature somewhere in the vicinity of 20 motorists who were able to get their cars close enough to see the fire stayed inside and kept their heaters running.

Built in 1872

The Mount Washington, known from coast to coast as the fastest sidewheeler in inland U. S. Waters was built by Sylvanus Smith, an ancestor of Mrs. Lyford Merrow of Ctr. Ossipee, and launched in Alton Bay in 1872. Since then it has plied the waters of Lake Winnipesaukee every year. In 1896-97 it was repaired and replanked at a cost of $42,000. The original cost of building the boat was $64,000. Again in 1914 it was repaired at a cost of $11,093. The next time the boat was out of the water was in 1925 for more repairs by order of the Public Service Commission. In the fall of ’37 the 700 ton boat was drydocked at Center Harbor and after a winter of hardships and disappointments the boat was replanked and put back into the water. Capt Lavallee was given a magnificent welcome home to The Weirs in May, 1938.

Former owners of the boat are Capt. Herbert A Blackstone who was skipper for 15 years, the Boston and Maine Railroad which sold it in 1922 for $3,000 to Captain Lavallee, Sidney Baker of Tremont street who resold it to Capt. Lavallee after running it one season.

Capt. Blackstone often said that the Mount was built as heavy as many boats that go to sea.

The new owners James and George Carroll who purchased the Mount on Sept. 15 from Capt. Lavallee were planning repairs this winter so the boat was anchored at The Weirs wharf instead of in the channel where the ice does not freeze.

The Carroll brothers had already started to figure out how they would keep the boat free from ice by chopping it away as it froze.

The Boston & Maine will probably replace the huge railroad station of the type of the ‘70’s and ‘80’s with a smaller station of modern trend and it is doubtful whether or not the long trainshed which sheltered huge crowds during storms will be rebuilt.

Fred Dearborn, engineer of the boat, tried hard to reach it to take it away from the wharf but was unable to penetrate the roaring furnace.

There was an unusual thing about the fire in that most of it was below the level of the firemen and those close to the scene so that waves of heat came.

Watching the “Mount” go proudly in the flames at its dock was the Grand Old Skipper of Lake Winnipesaukee, Capt. Leander Lavallee. He stood on the brow of the hill across from Tarlson’s store when the oil tank on the old sidewheeler exploded. Previously he had collapsed in front of his home at The Weirs when he realized what was happening. He said he was subject to angina.

He had sold the boat last September to George Carroll and James Carroll, sons of Postmaster M. J. Carroll, who estimated the loss at $100,000, partially covered by insurance.

“It’s a great loss to all this region,” the captain explained. He spoke of the strong steel holding the framework of the boat and sure enough the silhouette remained through all the seething flame.

Early on the scene at The Weirs Saturday morning, when the fire ruins still hot, could be seen by daylight, Captain Lavallee said, “If I were 30 years younger, I’d start building a new Mount.”

The Weirs fire department called it quits Saturday morning at 7:30 after being all night on the job wetting down the ruins. On the job were Capt. George Wesley Tarlson, Will Lloyd, Henry Allard, Bryan Avery, Fred H Dearborn, Leon Horne, Harvey Smith, W. H. Cole, Hollis Cole, Elmer Davis was working on the railroad.

Secretary Harold Hart of the Lakes Region association and Ed Coughlin of Ossipee were on their way to Laconia Saturday afternoon for a conference with James R. Irwin and others, relative to plans for “facelifting” at The Weirs, to remove scars of last night’s fire.

The Lakes Region Association takes the stand that the loss at The Weirs is not exclusively Laconia loss, but a disaster that affects the entire region, and therefore the region should cooperate in the task of rehabilitation. A meeting of prominent people to get plans under way included Mayor Robinson W. Smith of Laconia, who is acting as chairman; ex-Mayor Edward J. Gallagher, Fred Clark of the State Planning and Development Commission, Lawrence F. Whittemore of the Boston and Maine Railroad, Capt. Leander Lavallee, Postmaster Michael J. Carroll and his sons, James and George Carroll, and others.
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Old 12-29-2004, 05:31 AM   #23
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Default Hey Rattlesnake Girl.....

Is your signature on your posts a quote from George Carlin? I saw act from him on comedy central the other day and he finished it with that saying......just wondering if it is his original work or did he get it from somewhere else....(like the forum) GS
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Old 12-29-2004, 10:02 AM   #24
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I found this saying in a catalog and thought it was well suited. Maybe they stole it from George?
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Old 12-29-2004, 10:45 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Senter Cove Guy
From The Granite State News, December 29, 1939
This is very interesting! It is the first time that the stories of the demise of the Mount Washington do not concur. We will definitely need to look into this further. Thanks Senter Cove Guy for sharing this with us.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Senter Cove Guy
Watching the “Mount” go proudly in the flames at its dock was the Grand Old Skipper of Lake Winnipesaukee, Capt. Leander Lavallee. He stood on the brow of the hill across from Tarlson’s store when the oil tank on the old sidewheeler exploded.
Is it possible, given the time frame in history, could she have been changed over to run on oil verses wood or coal?
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Old 12-29-2004, 02:39 PM   #26
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Could the oil tank have been a small one used to store oil for a stove? Did they cook on the old Mount?
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Old 12-29-2004, 04:42 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glennsteely
Is your signature on your posts a quote from George Carlin? I saw act from him on comedy central the other day and he finished it with that saying......just wondering if it is his original work or did he get it from somewhere else....(like the forum) GS
In looking around for this quote, it comes up as anonymous.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JacksonB
Could the oil tank have been a small one used to store oil for a stove? Did they cook on the old Mount?
Yes they did cook on the Mount. (Excerpt from Farewell Old Mount Washington)

Before the advent of prohibition, meals complete with wines and liqueurs were served in the cabin, and the fame of this floating dining room was comparable in the 1880’s and 1890’s to Delmonico’s in New York and Antoine’s in New Orleans.
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Old 12-29-2004, 06:25 PM   #28
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Exclamation Aha...BLACK smoke.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Misty Blue
Yup. I go for wood furnace and water for the tank.
1) The tank could even have been empty at the time, but a full tank of diesel fuel possibly could have survived the fire around it, especially if fire hoses were directed on it. (But it doesn't look like an oil tank. It looks like a tank that would hold something clean, potable, maybe filtered-water. Maybe whole milk moved by steamship to market without shaking? Maple syrup?)

2) The smokestack is very high, suggesting that the exhaust was rich in ash and embers. The photo with the big plume of black smoke says coal. Here's a little bit from a steam train forum that seems to tell it all:
Quote:
"Well for starters woe to the hapless fireman that put out to much smoke..This was a BIG NO NO and was frown upon by the railroad management and cities and towns along the right of way...In fact firemen was very suspicious of anybody taking pictures because it could be a railroad photographer taking pictures to insure the fireman was not in violation of the no smoke rule or if he was then to turn into the management as evidence of the smoke rule violation.

"Now steamers being steamers would indeed put out smoke at times..The black smoke was cause by poor coal with too much slate and over firing by the fireman thus wasting coal...White smoke was the sign of a good fire and good burning coal.A highly skilled fireman would put out very little smoke during his trip.
Now grades would cause the smoke to roll as the engine dug into the trains tonnage..However a skilled fireman would keep that smoke to a minimum as well..

"And yes, not all firemen were skilled at their jobs of firing."
Overfiring (and the black smoke) would be expected when the Mount was "getting up a head of steam" upon departure.



http://www.the-gauge.com/showthread.php?t=12210
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Old 12-30-2004, 02:52 PM   #29
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Default We don't have a Pope!

Madrasaha hit the nail on the head, I think. It must be coal.

Looking at the pictures, as Mad points out, black smoke is a sign of improper cumbustion of coal. Wood with it's high moisture content (40%-50%) would put out a white plume. (Hence the Pope joke. Get it?)

We still have the question of where was the coal stored?

Start digging RIG!

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Old 01-13-2005, 06:37 AM   #30
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Here is another view of the train station from the right era. It was taken from the Mount on the water.
The tank has to be in the building, part of the station.
There is still no sign of wood verses coal for the Mount.
There are a few photos with other steamers that have cords or stacks of wood on different docks.


Here is the link to the super sized picture in PhotoPost
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Old 01-13-2005, 07:20 AM   #31
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The tank on land could have been to service the trains in the station. Water would have been needed for the older steam trains, and diesel if they had diesel engines in the 30's there.
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Old 01-20-2005, 09:46 PM   #32
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Question More mystery tanks in Alton

Quote:
Originally Posted by madrasahs
1) The tank could even have been empty at the time, but a full tank of diesel fuel possibly could have survived the fire around it, especially if fire hoses were directed on it. (But it doesn't look like an oil tank. It looks like a tank that would hold something clean, potable, maybe filtered-water. Maybe whole milk moved by steamship to market without shaking? Maple syrup?) {snip}
I was just re-reading mcdude's excellent railroad post and noticed that in a B&W photo of the old Alton Station (17'th image into post, from mcdude collection, view from across the water, small rowboat in foreground, Old Mount and station in background) there appear to be 3 similar tanks under the roof (look above the bow of the Old Mount). Anyone else concur ? If indeed they are similar then the fact that there are 3 makes me lean towards storage of some goods rather than water for the Mount (my first thought). What common liquids (other than Sally's rum) would be transported in bulk quantities back in them days ??

{False Alarm - After blowing the pic up some more I think the "tanks" might just be the light colored background/hillside framed by the station's arches ???}

I also noticed that in RG's post (same thread) about the train wreck there was mention of it happening "above the pumping station" for the Weirs. Anyone know about this pumping station, which I assume was water for the train's boilers ??
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Old 06-16-2008, 09:30 AM   #33
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I thought of this thread when I recently posted this old postcard of "Lady of the Lake" because it shows the tremendous amount of timber needed to keep a steam ship going. If the Mount was wood-fired where would it have been kept at the Weirs?
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Old 06-30-2008, 12:06 PM   #34
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Default It's coal.

'Talked to capt. Harry Welch and he told me that the Mount ran on coal. It was delivered to the Weirs by train and brought down to the ship by weelbarrow.

I expect that the DES would put an end to their ash removal system, mixing it with lake water and dumping it in the Lake!

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Old 12-08-2010, 11:16 PM   #35
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Default Re-Reading The GSN Article of 12/29/39

I was just re-reading the Granite State News article of 12/29/1939. Paragraph 9 under the heading Built in 1872 reads as follows:

Watching the “Mount” go proudly in the flames at its dock was the Grand Old Skipper of Lake Winnipesaukee, Capt. Leander Lavallee. He stood on the brow of the hill across from Tarlson’s store when the oil tank on the old sidewheeler exploded. Previously he had collapsed in front of his home at The Weirs when he realized what was happening. He said he was subject to angina.

We've talked about what powered the Old Mount and seemed to have settled on coal as the answer. However, the question is, what was an oil tank, large enough to cause a sizeable explosion, used for? I suppose the logical answer is to store lubricant but does that make sense? Or did it store fuel?
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Old 12-09-2010, 05:29 AM   #36
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Steam engines req'd lubrication...

Were oil lamps used to illuminate the old Mount?
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Old 07-23-2013, 05:48 PM   #37
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In this picture that's posted by Rattlesnake girl from the book Farewell Old Mount.. It almost looks like one of the paddle wheels survived the fire. If it did make it through in one piece and could be found, any reason it couldn't be brought to the surface? I know the wreckage is in 200' of water, so obviously it wouldn't be easy, but WOW would it make a cool piece for a lakes region museum.
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Old 07-31-2013, 07:57 PM   #38
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Default Some old pictures

Can anyone id where they were taken?
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Old 07-31-2013, 08:11 PM   #39
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Pic 1. Center Harbor Pic 2&3 Weirs
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Old 08-01-2013, 07:39 AM   #40
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Arrow Paddlewheel Box

SunsetPointWentworth, the lunette was removed from the starboard paddlewheel box. It doesn't make sense to me that they would leave the rest of the box at the pier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rattlesnake Gal View Post
Rattlesnake Guy and I took a fieldtrip yesterday to Mystic Seaport, the Museum of America and the Sea in Mystic, Connecticut.
The 1969 copy of Farewell Old Mount Washington makes mention of the starboard lunette from the Mt. Washington being on display at Mystic Seaport.
R. Guy was preparing me for disappointment. Given how many years it has been since the publication, it wasn’t likely that it was still there.
The museum was exceptional and very large. It is very similar to Sturbridge Village, but of a seafaring town.
Upon getting the map, I gave up my quest and decided to just enjoy the tour. Finding the lunette would be like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Walking around a corner, there was a building with figureheads on display. We went in, I turned to the right and there it was.
I was very excited to have found this piece of historic memorabilia it and to have recognized it so easily.


The carving is of a mountain sunrise over Mount Washington. (The namesake of the ship.)
This adorned the starboard Paddlewheel box on Mt. Washington excursion steamboat on Lake Winnipesaukee.
Called a lunette, this fan-shaped panel was the center of one of the two huge boxes that covered the steamboat’s paddle wheels.
The half-round paddle boxes protected the wheels from damage and shielded passengers from the turning wheels and from the water thrown up by their blades. The base of the carving is approximately 8 feet wide. Full sized photo


This elaborately carved lunette adorned the Mt. Washington’s Port paddlewheel box.
It represents sunset over Mount Washington. (Notice the waves.)



I was also on the lookout for Nellie, the first propeller driven boat on Lake Winnipesaukee.
Happily, she is still at the museum. What a beauty.
I still need to organize the photos and put together a post. (I took quite a few. )
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:34 AM   #41
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When I was at Trailblazer's camp, we made a trip to Winnipesaukee and took a ride on the old Mount Washington. I remember having to climb the stairs over the paddlewheel axle to get from one end of the ship to the other. I wasn't sure how old I was, but I must have been 9 years old or younger, since I was born in 1930 and the fire was in 1939.
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Old 08-04-2013, 01:34 PM   #42
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I found this old picture of me in my Trailblazer uniform taken in 1937 and added it to the above post.
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