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Mystery abounds in Loon Lake fire

A mysterious blaze, undoubtedly of incendiary origin, destroyed Dr. John Magee’s summer home two miles from Chestertown, near Loon Lake on the night of Nov. 23, 1913. The house was unoccupied at the time, the family having earlier returned to their house in upper Troy.

Eugene Murphy, from his home several rods distant, about 8 o’clock, saw an automobile approach the Magee place, enter the yard and stop in front of the house. He noticed that it was a large machine with headlights but saw no rear light. He thought nothing of the matter at the time as Dr. Magee’s family often came to the place to stay a few days and he supposed they had arrived in the auto.

After remaining about 20 minutes the machine turned and went back in the direction from which it came, rapidly disappearing up Friends Lake road. After it departed Mr. Murphy saw a light in the house and believed that some of the family had arrived to stay and gave the matter no more thought. A few minutes later, while preparing to retire for the night, the Murphy’s were startled by a crash and loud report and looking from their window saw the front of the Magee house in flames.

An alarm was telephoned to Chestertown and men were quickly sent in automobiles to fight the fire. Before they arrived the flames had reached the garage nearby in which was stored Dr. Magee’s seven-passenger automobile and with much difficulty this was run out of the reach of the flames. The barn and house and everything in it was destroyed and the loss is about $3,000 and there is only a small amount of insurance.

So far as known there is no clue to the identity of the incendiaries. Dr. Magee gave no permission for anyone to enter the house and can imagine no reason for the dastardly destruction of his property.

Readers are welcome to contact Adirondack Journal correspondent Jean Hadden at jhadden1@nycap.rr.com or 623-2210.

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