This firehouse was built in 1838 and was first occupied by Hand Engine Company 12 from 1838 to 1852. From 1852 to 1859 this was quarters of Hand Engine Company 3. Hand Engine Companies used hand-drawn fire apparatus (hand-tubs) which required manpower to manually pump water from a water source onto a fire. The development of steam power in the 1840’s-1850’s allowed steam to be used to pump water and the hand tubs became obsolete.
This firehouse was located at 1171 Washington Street, just south of the intersection of then-Dover Street, now-East Berkeley Street, in the South End section of the city.
On December 1, 1859 Engine Company 3 of the Boston Fire Department was organized at this firehouse and was assigned a horse-drawn steam pumper engine. Hand Engine Company 3 was disbanded.
Engine 3 moved to a new firehouse at 440 Harrison Avenue on April 1, 1875. In November 1880, Aerial Ladder 1 moved from Fort Hill Square into this firehouse. No other personnel except the driver were assigned.
On June 30, 1883 Ladder Company 13 was organized at this firehouse. Aerial Ladder 1 was moved back to Fort Hill Square. Ladder 13 remained here until August 19, 1901 when the firehouse was closed and Ladder 13 moved into a new firehouse at 70 Warren Avenue with Engine Company 22.
The firehouse at 1171 Washington Street was demolished in 1912.