Burns and Frappier Partner In Service Station, Later Becomes L C Burns Service Station
The long-standing L C Burns Service Station, located at the corner of Arsenal and Jackman Streets, was originally a Socony station. It was there that Lewis Burns first became associated with the location known as 202 Arsenal Street back in 1936 when he leased from Socony and began Burns and Kirwan Service Station with Terry Kirwan. In 1945, Burns formed a partnership with Edmund L. Frappier, Sr., and the business became known as Burns and Frappier.
The partnership lasted some years and saw them expand, taking over a second Socony station at 410 State Street at the corner of Parker Street. While both establishments operated under the name Burns and Frappier, L C Burns, of 215 S. Rutland St., managed the Arsenal Street location while Mr. Frappier, who resided in Adams, operated the State Street station. By 1952, however, the State Street location had become Bill Heatherington’s Mobil Gas Station and about the same time, the Arsenal Street location became the L C Burns Service Station.
In 1956, the L C Burns Service Station participated in a promotion with several other sponsors, rewarding the first proud daddy of 1956 at either Mercy Hospital or the House of the Good Samaritan with a free tank full of Mobil gas. The average cost of gas then was .30¢ a gallon, equivalent to $3.12 in 2022 making such a promotion in current times slightly more valuable to consumers.
While the costs may not have changed much with regards to inflation since then, the landscape in which the L C Burns Service Station certainly has due to Urban Renewal. It was in November 1962 that the Watertown Daily Times reported a public hearing was held to convey information. The service station itself was not spared, but neither would such a business exist in the locality of the renewal efforts. As reported then–
All buildings in the urban renewal area, excepting the Globe store, will be demolished to make way for a modern construction and new off-street parking.
The gasoline service station at the corner of Arsenal and Jackman streets will be razed and no such business will be permitted in the urban renewal section. The station, in business for many years, was included in the original urban renewal plan and a representative of the Mobile corporation said at the hearing he could not understand why other businessmen in the affected sector can remain in the area while L. C. Burns, there more than 25 years, can not.
The Mobil Gas Corporation dug its heels in, the L C Burns business continuing despite the city’s offering Mobil $76,500 for the property which was rejected. In April of 1967, the Watertown Daily Times announced the property’s condemnation–
Mr. Vallone also announced that the city has finally acquired title through a court order of the Mobil Oil property at the corner of Arsenal and Jackman Streets. The order was issued by Supreme Court Justice Eugene Sullivan and the station operator, L C Burns, has been served with a 30-day vacate order by the urban renewal department.
On April 29th, L C Burns announced the closing of his service station for good as it, along with the St. Patrick’s Children’s Home which was eventually acquired, were the last two properties to be razed.
Three years later, L C Burns passed away unexpectedly at the age of 67 shortly after telling his wife, a registered nurse at the House of the Good Samaritan, that his chest was “feeling heavy.” She advised his entering the hospital where he died 45 minutes later. His obituary, in part, read–
On April 17, 1933, he married Mrs. Lillian L. Duchano of Benson Mines in St. Hubert’s Church, Benson Mines, with Rev. William Bourbeau, then pastor, officiating. Mrs. Burns, a member of the 1931 class of the House of the Good Samaritan, was then a nurse at the Bide-A-Wee hospital in Watertown.
After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Burns lived in Watertown. He was associated with the Socony station at 202 Arsenal St. for nine years before he formed a partnership with Edmund Frappier of Adams.