Incidents and reminiscences of the Fire Department of Medford.
[Read before the Medford
Historical Society, Dec. 17, 1900.]
N the earlier days of the town's history there was not sufficient care taken to preserve the records of events and the doings of the Fire Department.
I have perused the records of the different fire companies, but could learn nothing of their services at the fires which occurred, except from the records of the Hook and Ladder Company, and of the Washington Engine Company No. 3
From the early records of the Hook and Ladder Company, and from books in their possession, I learn that in the year 1785 an association was formed bearing the name of the ‘Amicable Fire Society,’ and having for its motto ‘Amicis Nobisque.’
By Constitution and By-Law the members bound themselves to assist each other in extinguishing fires that threatened the destruction of their property.
For this purpose they agreed to furnish themselves with two leathern buckets for carrying water, two fire sails, or bags, for carrying small articles to a place of safety, and a screw or bed key for taking apart the bed which, in those days, was of the sacking or windlass pattern.
On the alarm of fire being given, they were to answer the call, and render all the assistance in their power.
The fire buckets were passed along the line formed from the nearest well.
The water was sometimes thrown on to the fire, sometimes used to supply the engine nearest the fire.
The buckets were suitably inscribed with the owner's name and the year that he became a member, and, with the bags and screw key, were to be kept in a suitable place in his home.
Once each quarter they were inspected by a committee appointed for that purpose, and if not found