Frost Coal

No. 6873 Frost Coal Company, photograph from 1869 published in brochure Sixty Years of Service.


No. 6874 Frost Coal Company illustration as it appears in 1930, from brochure Sixty Years of Service.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frost Coal Company was located at 488 Neponset Avenue, the last lot on the left before stepping from the bank of the river onto the bridge to Quincy. 

No. 14372 George H. Frost billhead, 1869.
No. 7256 George E. Frost billhead, 1890.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On April 23, 1944, a fire broke out at the Frost Coal Company, located in Neponset on the Neponset River edge, between the traffic bridge and the railroad bridge.  The location is down behind the Sozio appliance store and Planet Fitness.  The company was established at this location in 1869 by George E. Frost, who died in 1920.  He had a house built at 2 Frost Avenue, the corner of Frost Avenue and Boutwell Street, that later became a club house for the Redberry Council and Knights of Columbus.

Photographs appear below.

The Boston Globe reported a 5 Alarm Fire with a loss of $300,000.

Fanned by strong west winds, a five-alarm fire caused damage estimated at $300,000 to a company and adjacent shipyard at the Boston end of Neponset Bridge and Neponset ay. late yesterday afternoon. More than 20 families were forced to flee from their homes nearby, and one fireman in the crew of 300 men who helped fight the blaze was injured before bringing the stiff two-hour inferno under control.

Several wooden storage buildings containing 2000 tons of anthracite billowed up in 1000-foot high clouds of smoke at the yards of the Frost Coal and Oil Company, 448 Neponset Av. Before this fuel was entirely consumed, the fire spread to the Lockery and Butts boathouses, destroying about 225 pleasure cruisers, yachts and sailboats valued at $225,000.

Thousands milled behind fire-lines set and guarded by auxil¬iary firemen and policemen from Quincy, Boston, Braintree, Milton and Hingham. who as¬sisted regular forces, which to¬taled 300.

Samuel J. Pope. chief of the Boston Fire Department, who arrived early on the scene with Police Commissioner Thomas Sullivan and Supt. of Police Edward J. Fallon, said that the cause was undetermined. The first alarm was sent in at 4:45by a watchman at the coal company’s yard.

Nicholas A. Burckhart, vice president of Frost Coal Company, was also on the scene and directed firemen to his fleet of trucks which were brought to safety from garages on the premises. Tanks containing ap¬proximately 125,000 gallons of fuel oil, situated several hun¬dred feet from the coal pockets and also belonging to the Frost concern, were protected by heavy water curtains when the boat yard, wedged between the tanks and coal, was destroyed.

All auto traffic from the South Shore was shunted around the fire, trolley facilities curtailed, and shuttle service maintained.

Two Coast Guard fire boats, two fire boats from the Coast Guard Temporary Reserve, and Boston Fire Boat (Engine) 31 fought the blaze from the Neponset River. Thomas Lockerly and Edward Butts, owners of the boat company, were called to their yards where many yachtsmen were at work condition their cruisers for the summer.

Commodore Harry Bernstein. one of the first boat yard men to aid in directing firemen to the boats. stated that craft destroyed were valued at approximately an average of $1000 each, with some actually running in the $15,000 class. They ranged from 14 to 60-footers. he said.

When the heat from the flames became dangerously intense. residents of Taylor and Phillips st. living a

few feet away from the fire, were requested to leave their homes. About 20 families evacuated and firemen brought up hoselines through the backstairs of one three-decker and shot down streams of water on the boathouse below. Another crew of firemen f the blaze atop three lorded ears, which escaped damage, but one of the Boston Engine 17 crew, hose-man Thomas H. Kelley, in. of 5111 Florida st., Dorchester. sustained lacerations to the right arm and was( taken to Boston City Hospital for treatment.

Shortly before 7 o’clock when fire was brought under control and Fire Chief Pope officially announced damage at $300.000. Sparks flew; across the New Haven railroadtracks and ignited the roof of the Blakeslee-Rollins Shipbuilding Corportation, but firemen quickly ex¬tinguished the blaze before any damage was done.

The 1933 atlas shows that the structures were wood-frame.  The Boston Globe reported that a five-alarm fire caused damage estimated at $300,000 to the coal company and an adjacent shipyard.  More than 20 families were force out of their nearby homes.  Thomas H. Kelley of Florida Street, one of the crew of 300 men fighting the fire, was injured, suffering lacerations to his right arm.  Several wooden storage buildings containing 2000 tons of anthracite coal billowed up in 1000-foot high clouds of smoke.  The fire spread to the Lockery and Butts boathouse (Thomas Lockerly and Edward Butts), destroying about 225 pleasure cruisers, yachts and sailboats.

The following statement has not been documented — Later Frost would become part of Metropolitan Coal and Oil , that later occupied the site, which is now a health club.  Metropolitan was owned by Bill Sullivan one of the owners of  Patriots Football.

No. 18009 Frost Coal Fire, image from Boston Fire Historical Society.
No. 17803 Frost Coal & Oil Fire April 23, 1944.
No. 17804 Frost Coal & Oil Fire April 23, 1944.
No. 17805 Frost Coal & Oil Fire, April 23, 1944.
No. 17806 Frost Coal & Oil Fire, April 23, 1944.
No. 17807 Frost Coal & Oil Fire, April 23, 1944.
No. 17808 Frost Coal & Oil Fire, April 23, 1944
No. 17809 Frost Coal & Oil Fire, April 23, 1944.
No. 17810 Frost Coal & Oil Fire, April 23, 1944.
No. 17811 Frost Coal & Oil Fire, April 23, 1944.

The Dorchester Beacon, November 2, 1907

George E. Frost & Co.  Oldest Dealers in Coal in Dorchester—Plant in Neponset Covers over Two Acares of Ground—Office at 488 Neponset Avenue

The firm of George E. Frost & Co., dealers in wood and coal, at No. 488 Neponset Avenue, Dorchester, has the distinction of being the owner of the oldest place of its kind in the entire district. The business which this firm conducts was established in 1869 by Capt. George H. Frost, a sea captain of more than local fame.  In 1879, Capt. Frost gave the business to his son, George E. Frost, the head of the firm now owning it. Walter E. and Henry A. Frost later be­came partners with their brother, mak­ing the firm Geo. B. Frost & Co. The concern does a large coal business, hav­ing a line wharf and storage facilities for 13,000 tons. The plant covers two acres of ground, and the firm sells about 40,000 tons of coal a year, its patronage being drawn from Dorchester and all of surrounding country as far away Quincy. Twenty-five men are employed and 20 teams of horses are required to keep up with the daily business.

George E. From, the senior member of the firm, is a member of the Odd Fellows and is a director in the Dorchester Savings bank.  Both he and his brother are influential citizens of the district and are important factors in its business life. They are men of the0 highest commercial standing and of rec­ognized public spirit and patriotism, being fully alive to whatever tends to aid in the material prosperity and advancement of the place in which their inter­ests are centered. They are accounted as citizens of the highest sense of honor and integrity and as individuals of such a character as to command the respect and esteem of all who know them and have business or social relations with them. In the conduct of their establishment, which is reckoned one of the most important in the neighborhood, the Frost brothers follow in the footsteps of their father, the old sea captain, who is remembered clearly to this day by the older residents of the community. The firm in noted fur the fairness of its dealings and has a large patronage among the householders in Dorchester and vanity.

Skills

Posted on

April 24, 2020