BETHEL MAINE HISTORY—THE BETHEL JOURNALS— BENNETT’S GARAGE FIRE 1940

BENNETT’S GARAGE ON MAIN STREET BURNED—REBUILT

TWO FIRES—SAME INCIDENT:  GARAGE DESTROYED AND FIRE AT DUMP

August 22, 1940

The scene at the left gives an idea of the appearance of Clarence Bennett’s garage at the corner of Main and Elm Streets last Thursday (8/14/1940) morning a few minutes after a gasoline explosion started a blaze which spread throughout the building. The picture was taken soon after the first streams of water struck the fire. The right hand picture shows the situation a minute later from another angle.  The telephone cable which was put out of commission shows plainly and Dr. Wilson’s home may be seen at the right.

 

GARAGE RUINS FINALLY CONSUMED BY FLAMES

 

The ruins of Bennett’s Garage finally succumbed to flames Wednesday evening at the (Village) Corporation dump. Remnants of the burned building were pulled to the ground by trucks the first of the week and the blackened boards and timbers hauled to the dump on the river bank (near mouth of Alder River). This material became ignited and created a spectacular blaze far into the night, and a portion of the wreckage which was afire in the water was carried downstream by the current. Shortly before midnight it was burned nearly to the water as it passed the mouth of Alder River.

 

 

 

 

 

BENNETT’S GARAGE TO BE COMPLETED SOON

Work of building Clarence Bennett’s new garage replacing the building lost be fire two weeks ago, began last week after removal of the ruins was completed. The new building will have concrete floors throughout, the front of the structure being on the site of the old garage. However the new one is considerably larger, being 45 by 60 feet, and is so designed so as to afford twice as much space for the repair shop. An office and small show room will be included, also an entrance to the shop floor from Elm Street.

Of frame construction like it’s predecessor, the new quarters will be completed by a large crew by the last of next week according to present expectations.

August 29, 1940

The articles printed above were copy from the Bethel Citizen

Bennett’s Garage on Main Street in Bethel was also a Chevrolet Sales and Service Dealership.  When automobile production resumed after World War II, new cars were delivered to Bethel by rail and unloaded on the freight dock by John Swan’s Potato Store.  Pete Baker with a couple of helpers then put a little gas in the tank and drove the new cars to Bennett’s Garage.

October 1966: Bennett’s Garage closed its doors after many years of business.  This was after constructing and moving to a larger sales and service garage on lower Main Street. The building, later expanded, houses the SAD 44 Transportation Garage.

Clarence Bennett was born in Gilead.  He owned the garage pictured below in West Bethel. He also owned the field behind the garage which was used as Bethel’s first regular flying field

Bennett’s Garage at West Bethel

1931 Photo

 

Microfilm copies of the Oxford County Bethel Citizen: Bethel Historical Society . Photograph of Bennett’s Garage in 1931—1931 Special Edition of the Citizen.

The Bethel Journals

PO Box 763

Bethel, Maine 04217

www.thebetheljournals.info