More Fire on Congress Street
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Written by SeacoastNH Archive

402_detail Presents  
Historic Portsmouth #402

Last week’s fire photo brought a blazing response from readers, most of whom correctly identified the source of the smoke as the McIntosh Building on the corner of Fleet and Congress streets. A furniture store there burned on May 5, 1931.  (Much more below)


“At one point,” according to an email from Frances D. Lebel, “the wall on the Fleet Street side started to sway, which caused a huge gasp from all the spectators.” Lebel later worked in the restored McIntosh Building. “Because of my memory of the fire, I was always a bit nervous when entering and working there,” Lebel recalls today.  This week’s photo shows the November 23, 1914 fire in the “wooden block” at 111 Congress Street. Peabody Music Company, Downing’s Chop House, Dondero’s fruit store, and Dolan’s cigar store were all heavily damaged according to the records of historian Steven Achilles. The Langdon Hotel nearby was in great danger. We’ll look at a photo of that forgotten downtown hotel next week, then get on to more downtown fires. (Courtesy Portsmouth Athenaeum)