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eBay Tuesday: Burr's Yacht Haven 1960 Advertisement

Thames River marina touts attractions in auction item

The Burr's Marina website marks 1961 as a milestone for the Thames River facility. This week's item hails from just before that time, as the seller notes that it was taken from a 1960 publication.

The advertisement, offered by Isthmus Books, is from the time when the marina was still known as Burr's Yacht Haven and phone numbers still had letters in them. Accompanying an aerial photo is a description of services, including "hauling, yacht sales and service, marine store, groceries, liquor, showers, & mail port."

The Pequot Ave. facility offers a similar range of services today and traces its history back more than a century. According to the history section of the marina's website, boating services first started in the 1900s with "a Canadian gentleman selling fuel from a 5-gallon container with a hand pump." Before it was known as Burr's Yacht Haven, it carried the name St. Germain Yacht Station. The Burr name comes from one of the marina's former owners, but fits nicely considering the first syllable of the current family of owners.

Ray Bergamo first started working at the marina as a general manager in 1961. A contemporary account says this was one of the most difficult seasons on record for boat owners due to the weather, with Bergamo commenting, "We started Jan. 1 and we've been battling the elements ever since. Considering the weather it's remarkable the progress that's been made." Bergamo purchased the marina the next year, and the family has maintained it ever since.

The advertisement measures three and a half inches by two and a half inches. It has been cut from the publication and retains its white coloring with some surface wear. The starting bid is $8, plus $2.80 for shipping and handling, and the auction ends at about 8 p.m. on Wednesday.

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