Fire destroys memorabilia from 97-year-old Laconia Motorcycle Week

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Laconia Motorcycle Week has been a New Hampshire tradition for nearly a century. 2007 ‘Bike Week’ photo by Malber, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

LACONIA, N.H. (AP) – A building fire destroyed old photos, magazine articles, and other memorabilia from the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association that were collected from the 97-year-old bike rally in New Hampshire.

The office also lost its beloved mascot in the Christmas Day fire, a cat named Ashland.

“Everything is gone. It was a bad, bad fire,” Charlie St. Clair, executive director of the association, told The Laconia Daily Sun.

Laconia Fire Chief Kirk Beattie said it was likely that an electrical problem may have been the cause. He said the fire had probably been burning for hours before it was discovered. One firefighter was treated for minor injuries.

St. Clair said he and Jennifer Anderson, the association’s deputy director, had just begun work on the 2021 edition of Rally News, a magazine that contains information about the races and other activities during the nine-day annual event. That, along with Motorcycle Week merchandise, photos going back to the 1940s, and vintage magazine and newspaper articles were destroyed.

The association occupies the entire 1,700 square-foot first floor of the 3,000-square-foot building.

St. Clair said the association had insurance, but he was unsure if it would be adequate to cover all the damages.

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