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Congress Goes to Blazes in 1964

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SeacoastNH.com Presents  
Historic Portsmouth #405

Next year is the bicentennial of the Great Portsmouth Fire of 1813 and there are exhibits and lectures on fire prevention being planned even now. This month we’re wrapping up a series of images of fires on Congress Street. (Read all about it below)

 

 

According to Steven Achilles’ fire history log, this one broke out after 11 pm on March 13, 1964 in an alley behind the Clipper Restaurant, located in one of the oldest surviving city blocks. According to the report: “A blast of undetermined origin tore through the structure as fireman fought the blaze, and showered a crowd standing on Congress Street with flying glass from two storefronts.” Some of the business signs are visible and include Juneau’s Cards, Beneficial Finance Loans, Mattison’s (with barber shop poles outside), Singer, and Diamond’s Watches. The Colonial Theater is displaying billboards for the 1962 film Rome Adventure starring Troy Donahue, Angie Dickinson, Suzanne Pleshette, and Rossano Brazzi.  (Courtesy of Portsmouth Athenaeum)

1964 Fire on Congress Street, Portsmouth, NH

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