Ray’s Marina Fires of 1972-73

By Muriel Bristol | February 24, 2021

Ray's Marina - LogoThe following two news articles emerged while researching Milton’s Railroad Station Agents. They fall a bit beyond the time frame with which we have concerned ourselves so far, but they do throw some light on  the ultimate fate of Milton’s Railroad Station or Depot building of 1873.

And our readers seem also to retain a considerable interest in and affection for Ray’s Marina. (The marina would rise from the ashes to close finally forty years later).

Ray’s Marina Fire of Monday, December 11, 1972

Fire Destroys Milton Marina. Damage Estimated at $200,000. MILTON – An exploding snowmobile has been listed as the cause of the major blaze which destroyed all by the offices of Ray’s Marina in Milton Monday afternoon. According to Ray Lamoureux, owner of the marina, an employee was working on a snowmobile in one of the bays when a spark set off the fire.

Milton Fire Chief Herb Downs said the fire spread rapidly from the working bay to the upper floor of the structure and then the most of the other building. Firemen from Milton, Farmington and Rochester worked for nearly three hours to put out the blaze, which according to Mr. Lamoureux caused an estimated $200,000 worth of damage.

On Tuesday Mr. Lamoureux surveyed the damage and indicated that he intended to start rebuilding immediately. For the time being the marina will continue operating out of the American Service Station next door with offices in a cottage on the other side of the structure. Mr. Lamoureux noted that although the telephone lines were destroyed in the fire and new homes [phones?] were installed on Tuesday, the numbers will remain the same, they are 332-1511 and 652-4523.

Prior to the location of Ray’s Marina at the site, the area served for nearly 100 years as the Milton Railroad Depot. Several years ago the facilities were moved to Rochester and the building lay abandoned for some time until Ray’s took over in 1963. During his ownership Mr. Lamoureux built onto the original structure and added a showroom and office space. The railroad depot was kept and converted into a repair shop. It was the railroad depot section of the building which was destroyed (Farmington News, [Thursday,] December 14, 1972).

The article was illustrated with four photos, which will not copy well. Their captions appear below.

Ray's Marina - PH721006
Ray’s Marina Advertisement of October 1972 (Portsmouth Herald, October 6, 1972)

[Photo Caption:] AS THE BURNT OUT, caved in shell of Ray’s Marina in Milton was being cleaned out on Tuesday, the day after one of Milton’s worst fires, Ray Lamoureux, owner of the Marina, was already making plans for rebuilding. For the time being, the Marina will be operating out of a cottage on one side of the building with their repair shop located in an American Service Station on the other side of the structure. (Photo by AEW).

[Photo Caption:] EVEN THOUGH the flames spread fast through Ray’s Marina in Milton all employees managed to get out of the building safely. According to Mr. Lamoureux, the owner of the business, no employees will be out of work because of the fire. He said, “It will be business as usual” (Photo by AEW).

[Photo Caption:] THE MONDAY AFTERNOON fire, which destroyed Ray’s Marina in Milton, was started when a snowmobile (pictured above) exploded and spread flames racing through the structure that once served as the Milton Railroad Depot (Photo by AEW).

[Photo Caption:] AS THINGS CALMED DOWN on Tuesday, the written location remained on the chalk board at the Milton Firehouse to tell where the fire had done $200,000 worth of damage the day before. (Photo by AEW).

Ray’s Marina Fire of Tuesday, October 30, 1973

Ten months later a Ray’s Marina boat storage building in Lebanon, ME, burned also.

Marina Blaze. WEST LEBANON, Maine (AP) – A fire here Tuesday leveled a storage building and destroyed its contents, about 65 motor boats and a fork lift truck, fire officials said. The cause of the blaze is undetermined and is under investigation. No injuries were reported. Fire fighters from several surrounding Maine and New Hampshire communities responded to the alarm. The storage building, the property of Ray’s Marina of Milton, NH, is on the Maine side of Milton Three Ponds. The marina itself is on the New Hampshire side (Portsmouth Herald, [Wednesday,] October 31, 1973).


See also Milton’s Railroad Line, Milton Railroad Station Agents, and Grand Opening of Ray’s Marina


References:

Foster’s Daily Democrat. (2016, May 12). Rheaume J. (Ray) Lamoureux. Retrieved from www.legacy.com/obituaries/fosters/obituary.aspx?n=rheaume-j-lamoureux-ray&pid=179960532&fhid=4824

Author: Muriel Bristol

"Lady drinking tea"

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