This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
[p. 64] house on Summer street. No. 2 (the Gen. Jackson) was kept in the west end of the brick schoolhouse in the rear of the First Parish Church, till a new home was made for it in what is now Grand Army Hall. No. 3 (the J. Q. Adams) was stored in the brick building on Riverside avenue, which is now owned by the Boston & Maine Railroad. No company was attached to this engine and its use was mainly for the watering of ships, for which the builders paid a small fee. No. 4 (the Washington) was located in a corner of the Magoun shipyard till a new house was built for it in 1850 on Park street. The hook and ladder carriage remained under the Town Hall till the new house on High street was built. The engines were manned by companies of thirty or more. In 1847 there were ninety-six firemen who received as remuneration five dollars each and the abatement of their poll tax. On hearing a fire alarm the members would rush for the ‘tub,’ and the two or three first arriving would start the machine, which, moving slowly at first, would be accelerated as the hands multiplied on the rope, till at last all would be on the run. Sometimes, especially when the roads were in a bad condition, a horse would be attached to the end of the rope. Excitement has always attended the movement of fire apparatus. As in these days of the steamer, so in those days of the ‘tub.’ Boys with torches ran in advance of the engine and the men spurred each other on with vociferous exclamations. At the fire the excitement became still more intense, especially if the blaze was at such distance from the reservoir that one company had to draw and pass the water to the tub nearest the fire. The rivalry here was unbounded, and the ‘washing’ (that is, causing an overflow), or the emptying of the tub nearest the fire, called for the loudest of cheers from the victorious company. Fires were sometimes set by persons who coveted the enjoyment of this rivalry. Of this a notorious instance
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.