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Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 11., Medford fifty-four years ago. (search)
fluid. Kerosene, which is a product of petroleum, did not come in until after the discovery of the oil fields in Pennsylvania ten years later. There was, however, a fire department. Not a paid department, but purely volunteer. If I rightly remember, there were three companies, all friendly. I do not recall their names, but one of them had a house on High street near the Unitarian church, and it was a favorite lounging place of the members and their friends in the evenings. I think Captain Teel headed this organization. All these companies did good service, no doubt, when the need came. I remember only a single instance when it was called out. A fire broke out in somebody's shed. It took but a few minutes to subdue it, and then the whole populace adjourned to the engine house to partake of a collation, which consisted of crackers and cheese and a pail of hot coffee, in which everybody shared. There was no red-tape in those days. The collation— they called it co-lation then—