Titcomb Cabin burns to ground
By Turia Lahlou, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Friday, May 8, 2009
The Ledyard Canoe Club's Titcomb Cabin burned down at approximately 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday night in what Hanover Police are calling a "suspicious" fire, according to a police press release. The cabin, located on Gilman Island on the Connecticut River, was frequently used by the Dartmouth Outing Club.
All that remains of the cabin, which was built one-quarter mile south of the Ledyard Bridge, are the base logs, chimney and fireplace, interim director of the Outdoor Programs Office Earl Jette said in an interview with The Dartmouth.
The Hanover Police and the New Hampshire Fire Marshal investigated the scene on Thursday in an attempt to determine the fire's source, Jette said.
Hanover Police Chief Nicholas Giaccone could not be reached for comment by press time.
Jette said that there is no electricity on the island, and that the cabin had not yet been available for rent this season because the Connecticut River waters are too cold.
"[The authorities] have not reported yet what they think probably caused it, and there is no information about how it started or where the people came from," Jette said, referring to the suspected arsonists.
The College has a long-term lease for Gilman Island, which is owned by TransCanada power company. Titcomb Cabin itself was College-owned, Jette said. TransCanada also owns the Wilder Dam, roughly two miles south of Gilman Island.
Ledyard Canoe Club members will meet soon to discuss future plans for the cabin site, Jette said. If club members are interested in rebuilding the cabin, students will likely carry out the construction, Jette said.
"We want this to be an opportunity for students to learn another outdoor skill and turn this tragedy into something good for Dartmouth students," he said.
Jette said it has not yet been determined whether the damage caused by the fire will be covered by the College's insurance. The College has insurance for its on-campus buildings, which also covers many of the College's cabins across the state, but Jette said he has not seen the list of the structures specifically covered by the policy.
Titcomb Cabin was built in November 1952 by Dartmouth students on behalf of the Dartmouth Outing Club and was used primarily by the Ledyard Canoe Club in the cabin's early years. The building later became available for use by the general public.
The New Hampshire fire marshal handling the investigation could not be reached for comment by press time.