This page contains a chronological listing of information on Boston Fire Department activity, across all types of categories, from 1859 to 1869. The listings contained within this page will be updated on a continual basis, as new information becomes available. Information on some ‘Fires’ and ‘Line of Duty Deaths’ will be found in the Chronology. Use the link to Fires and Line of Duty Deaths to see more complete listings.
|1859||January 1||George W. Bird, Chief Engineer (since 1856). Two steam engines were placed in service, to be operated under contract with their builders, neither having a regular company of men. One engine was placed at the quarters of ‘Hand’ Engine 6 at 30 Wall Street, West End, named “Eclipse”. The other engine was placed at the house of ‘Hand’ Engine 7, (41) Purchase Street, Downtown, named “Lawrence.”|
|1859||November 1||Steam Engine Company 8 organized at 12 North Bennet Street, North End. This was the first permanent Engine Company in the city.|
|1859||December 1||Steam Engine Company 3 organized at (1171) Washington Street, near Dover Street, South End.|
|1859||December 19||Steam Engine Company 1 organized at (approximately) 434 West Broadway, near Dorchester Street, South Boston.|
|1859||December 26||Steam Engine Company 9 was organized at 60 Paris Street, East Boston.|
|1860||January 1||Steam Engine Company 6, called ‘Eclipse’ was organized at 30 Wall Street, West End and Steam Engine Company 7 , call ‘Lawrence’, was organized at (41) Purchase Street, Downtown.|
|1860||April 1||Horse Hose Company 1 was organized at 114 Salem Street, North End.|
|1860||May 1||Horse Hose Company 2 was organized at 85 Hudson Street, Downtown.|
|1860||May 7||Steam Engine Company 4 was organized at Court Square.|
|1860||June 16||Horse Hose Company 3 was organized on 8 Fruit Street, West End.|
|1860||July 1||Horse Hose Company 8 was organized at 69 Warrenton Street, South End.|
|1860||August 1||Horse Hose Company 7 was organized at 127 Mt. Vernon Street, Beacon Hill.|
|1860||August 17||Horse Hose Company 5 was organized at 398 Shawmut Avenue, South End.|
|1860||August 18||Horse Hose Company 4 was organized at 84 Northampton Street, South End.|
|1860||September 1||Steam Engine Company 5 was organized at 64 Marion Street, East Boston. Horse Hose Company 6 was organized 391 Chelsea Street, East Boston.|
|1860||September 5||It was ordered that company names be removed from the apparatus and companies were to be only known by their number.|
|1860||September 17||Steam Engine Company 2 was organized at 715 East Fourth Street, South Boston.|
|1860||November 1||Hose Hose Company 9 was organized at 116 B Street, South Boston.|
|1860||The department began using 2 1/2 inch hose.|
|NOTE: Hook and Ladder Companies in service in 1860 were:
|1861||November 1||Hand Hose Company 10 was organized at 330 Dorchester Street, South Boston.|
|1862||June 1||Steam Engine Company 10 was organized at the quarters of Horse Hose Company 7 at 127 Mt. Vernon Street, Beacon Hill.||1862||July 22||Engine Company 7 received a new First-Size Amoskeag 500gpm steam engine, C/N #35, replacing the old steamer ‘Lawrence’, made by Bean & Scott of Lawrence, Mass., which deemed ‘too heavy’ a machine to be pulled by horses or operate at a fire.|
|1862||Engine Company 4 moved from Court Square to Scollay’s Building, Downtown.|
|1862||Ladder Company 3 moved from Harrison Avenue & East Brookline Street to Harrison Avenue & Wareham Street.|
|1864||April 28||A change was made in the transmitting of alarms of fire over the Fire Alarm Telegraph. The ‘District and Station’ (e.g. D1-S7) numbering scheme was abandoned. All fire boxes were assigned new numbers in a numerical sequence (e.g. 164).|
|1865||December 26||The Fire Alarm Office (FAO) moved from the City Building at Court Square, Downtown, to the top floor/attic of the new City Hall at 45 School Street, Downtown. The first alarm received at the new FAO, at 10:08PM on December 30, was from Box 127, Goddard & E Streets, South Boston.|
|1866||January 1||Steam Engine Company 11 was organized at 260 Sumner Street, East Boston. Ladder Company 2 also moved in from (251) Meridian Street, East Boston.|
|1866||February 15||Steam Engine Company 11 received a new ‘Amoskeag’ steam engine, with a U-shaped tank, CN# 167.|
|1866||March 18||Chief Engineer George W. Bird retired.|
|1866||March 19||John S. Damrell appointed Chief Engineer.|
|1867||February 4||John Kennard was appointed Superintendent of Fire Alarm.|
|1867||October 1||Engine Company 5 was assigned a self-propelling steam engine.|
|1867||December 24||The self-propelling steam engine at Engine Company 5 was replaced with a horse-drawn steam engine.|
|1868||January 6||City of Roxbury was annexed to the City of Boston. Fire companies in Roxbury were designated as follows:
Engine Company 12 at Dudley and Warren Streets. This was the former Roxbury Engine Co. 2 and the apparatus assigned was an 1864 Button steamer, C/N #9, in service from September 9, 1864.
Engine Company 13 at 201 Cabot Street. This was the former Roxbury Engine Co. 3 and the apparatus assigned was an 1865 Campbell & Whittier steamer, C/N #3, in service since April 6, 1865.
Engine Company 14 at 27 Centre Street. This was the former Roxbury Engine Co. 1 and the apparatus assigned was an 1860 Campbell & Whittier steamer, C/N #1, in service since December 17, 1860.
Ladder Company 4 at 20 Eustis Street. This was the former Washington Hook & Ladder Co. and the apparatus assigned was an 1845 Hunneman ladder truck, equipped with 16 ladders of varying lengths.
Hose Company 7 at 185 Cabot Street. This was the former Roxbury Hose Co. 1.
|1868||March 1||Hand Hose Company 10 at 330 Dorchester Street, South Boston, changed to a Horse Hose Company.|
|1868||April||Engine Company 1 moved from 434 West Broadway to 119 Dorchester Street, South Boston.|
|1868||June 2||Fire companies were assigned names (as in the old hand-engine days) to go along with the company number (with the exception of Engine 11, Hose 9, Ladder 4):
Engine Company 1 was renamed ‘Mazeppa’ Engine Company 1.
Engine Company 2 was renamed ‘Spinney’ Engine Company 2.
Engine Company 3 was renamed ‘Eagle’ Engine Company 3.
Engine Company 4 was renamed ‘Barnicoat’ Engine Company 4.
Engine Company 5 was renamed ‘Elisha Smith’ Engine Company 5.
Engine Company 6 was renamed ‘Melville’ Engine Company 6.
Engine Company 7 was renamed ‘T.C. Amory’ Engine Company 7.
Engine Company 8 was renamed ‘Northern Liberty’ Engine Company 8.
Engine Company 9 was renamed ‘Maverick’ Engine Company 9.
Engine Company 10 was renamed ‘Cataract’ Engine Company 10.
Engine Company 12 was renamed ‘Warren’ Engine Company 12.
Engine Company 13 was renamed ‘Tremont’ Engine Company 13.
Engine Company 14 was renamed ‘Dearborn’ Engine Company 14.
Ladder Company 1 was renamed ‘Warren Ladder Company 1.
Ladder Company 2 was renamed ‘Washington’ Ladder Company 2.
Ladder Company 3 was renamed ‘Franklin’ Ladder Company 3.
‘Washington’ Hose Company 1; ‘Union’ Hose Company 2; ‘Franklin’ Hose Company 3; ‘Chester’ Hose Company 4; ‘Suffolk’ Hose Company 5; ‘William Woolley’ Hose Company 6; ‘Elliott’ Hose Company 7; ‘Tremont’ Hose Company 8; ‘Bradlee’ Hose Company 10.
|1868||October 1||The Insurance Protective Brigade was formed. This became know as the Boston Protective Department (BPD), whose mission was to protect building contents, supplies, valuables and other property at the scene of a fire. The BPD quarters received all alarms, as in any firehouse, and members responded on manpower wagons to the scene. BPD members were members of the Boston Firemen’s Relief Association and several are buried at the Firemen’s Lot at Forest Hills Cemetery.|
|1868||Engine Company 8 and Hose Company 1 moved to a new firehouse at 133 Salem Street, North End.|
|1869||April 1||Hose Company 8 moved from 69 Warrenton Street, South End, to 25 Church Street, South End.|
|1869||April 26||Engine Company 8 received a new Jucket & Freeman steam pumper, CN #1.|
|1869||June 1||Hose Company 3 moved from 8 Fruit Street, West End, to 16 North Grove Street, West End.|
|1869||December 22||Walter E. Hawes Engine Company 15 and Ladder Company 5 were organized at 456 West Fourth Street, South Boston.|
|1869||During 1869, company names were given to three companies:
Engine Company 11 was named ‘John S. Damrell’ Engine Company 11.
Hose Company 9 was named ‘Lawrence’ Hose Company 9.
Ladder Company 4 was named ‘Washington’ Hook & Ladder 4.