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The Summit House Hotel in South Bristol Village, ca. 1910

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The Summit House was built by Nelson W. Gamage in 1892 and was probably the first hotel in South Bristol. Sitting atop the hill just south of the village, it had more than 20 rooms and a commanding view of the Damariscotta River and John's Bay from its cupola. It burned to the ground on June 7, 1918 in a fire that may have been the result of spontaneous combustion in kerosene-soaked rags used to clean the lamps in preparation for the summer season. In the right center of the image, the long, low building running to the left from a two-story building is a bowling alley; the larger building was a grocery store and restaurant, with a dance hall on the second floor.

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