This page provides readers with a history of the City of Roxbury Fire Department up to January 6, 1868, when Roxbury was annexed to Boston.
1746 – A legislative act set a penalty of ten shillings upon every householder, living within ten rods of a neighbor’s house or barn, who failed to provide himself with a ladder, to aid in the extinguishing of fires.
1784 – First Roxbury fire-engine was in service at the Greyhound Tavern at Washington & Vernon Sts. Daniel Munroe was appointed Captain and the following were appointed enginemen: David Swift; William Dorr; Aaron Willard; John Williams, Jr.; Joshua Felton; Wm. Bosson, Jr.; Elijah Weld; John Swift; Abel Hutchins; Joseph Weld; Joseph Richardson; Amos Smith. Story of the first firehouse in Roxbury.
1784 – Fire Wards were first chosen.
1785 – The following were added to the list of enginemen: Capt. Samuel Mellish; Jeremiah Gore; William Blaney; Ensign R.H. Greaton; Jesse Doggett.
1787 – A new engine is established near the Punch-Bowl Tavern [located in the present-day Brookline Village].
1795 – Town votes to pay half the expense of repairing the ‘new’ fire-engine at the Punch-Bowl Village. New members of this company were: Capt. Belcher Hancock; John Ward; Isaac Davis; James Pierce; Lt. William Bosson; Joseph Davenport; Samuel Barry; Joseph Crehore.
1800, January 21 – The Washington Fire Club is formed. Rules and Regulations (printed in 1817).
1802 – A new engine, called ‘Torrent No. 2’ was in service and a company of twenty-one men appointed.
1819 – A new engine was purchased by subscription for Engine No. 1 and the town was asked for land on the northerly corner of the burying-ground [at Washington & Eustis Sts.]
1823 – The first suction [hand] fire engines were made in Roxbury by William C. Hunneman. The supply of water had previously been brought in buckets and dumped into the ‘tub’. The hand-tub was Serial No. 90 and was delivered to the Boston Fire Department as ‘Torrent No. 16’.
1831 – Chief Engineer Joshua B. Fowle reported the town operated seven fire-engines, with four hose-reels attached: No. 1, Dudley St. (new house); No. 2, Centre St., by Poor-house; No. 3 and No. 4, by Jamaica Plain; No. 5, Spring St.; No. 6, Eustis St. (new house); No. 7, ‘Norfolk’ at Punch-Bowl.
1843, May 25 – A fire destroyed the box factory in the Mill Dam area of Roxbury. Newspaper story.
1843, August 29 – Roxbury Fire Company No. 7 visits the City of New Bedford and is received by the company of New Bedford Engine No. 7. Roxbury brought their engine and were in full uniform during the visit. Newspaper story.
1845 – April 23, A fire destroyed the Webber & Son Rope-Walk in Roxbury. Newspaper story.
1845 – June 26, A fire destroyed the Tremont Starch Factory in Roxbury. Newspaper story.
1846 – March 3, A fire destroyed a large, 3-story, 175×40 ft., dwelling house at Brook Farm. Newspaper story.
1846 – March 12, The Town of Roxbury becomes the City of Roxbury.
1848-1849 – Chief Engineer: Abraham S. Parker, Salary $100. Assistant Engineers: Jerahmeel C. Pratt; Joseph H. Billings; Samuel S. Chase; Alexander Dickson; Daniel E. Page; Hiram Hall.
1849-1950 – 1850 Report of the Chief Engineer and Roxbury Fire Dept. activity. Chief Engineer: Abraham S. Parker, Salary $100.
Assistant Engineers: Jerahmeel C. Pratt; Joseph H. Billings; Samuel S. Chase; Alexander Dickson; Daniel E. Page; Hiram Hall.
1852 – October 26, A horse stable fire at the Union House destroys many buildings in the Tremont & Oxford Streets area of Roxbury. Newspaper story.
1855 – June 6, Newspaper report of large fire on Northampton St., Roxbury. Newspaper story.
1858 – Chief Engineer: Samuel F. Train, Salary $225. Assistant Engineers: Gilbert S. May; Jonas Fillebrown; John Withers; Rueben Weeks. Salary $80. (Chosen by City Council in April, 1858).
1858 Report of the Chief Engineer and Roxbury Fire Dept. activity.
1860 – Chief Engineer: James Munroe, Salary $300. Assistant Engineers: Gilbert S. May; John Culligan; Amory T. Sherman; Robert Simpson. Salary $80. (Chosen by City Council in April, 1860)
1860 Report of the Chief Engineer and Roxbury Fire Dept. activity
1867 – July 3, A fire destroyed the Roxbury soap and tallow company of William H. Dow, including stables and livestock. Newspaper story.
1868 – January 6, The City of Roxbury (in Norfolk County) is annexed to the City of Boston (in Suffolk County). Three Engine Companies, one Hook & Ladder Company and one Hose Company are added to the rolls of the Boston Fire Department. They become Engines 12, 13, 14; Ladder 4; Hose 7.