Great work you're doing. I remember the fire.....we were living in Burlington at the time and came up to my Grandmothers King & Ratte that weekend (as we did every Sunday) and I remember that Armand & Patricia Martin were quite devastated wondering where they would be going to school for the rest of the school year. Also, earlier on you had mentioned the school barges - trucks with boxes on them. I rode on the Sam Webb Barge and then VOILA! Along came the 1st "real school bus" a shiny new yellow bus....and it handled our route.....they wanted to keep it on the "main roads" (hard top) as much as possible....so it went up route 104 to North Fairfax, circled back on the Nichols Road and back down Rt 104, down 104A to the turn around at Gilles Rainville Farm and on to school. We thought it pretty neat to be riding on a warm comfortable bus after riding on the olde barge sitting on wooden benches. There were sides on the barges that opened in the warm months; but in the winter it was all kind of darkish with a little window in the back (and only) door to enter the barge. What fond memories !!!
Wish I could remember the exact year that we had that first "real" school bus. My guess is that it was in about 1947 or '48. I remember is was owned by a Mr. Abair (can't remember his first name) who I think may have lived in the "Luther home" next to Bob Bordeau, but am not certain. Thus we all called it the "Abair Bus".
This all seems like only yesterday ~ ~ my how time has a way of escaping from us.(Steve)