Monday, September 05, 2011

Narragansett Fire Dept. # 3

It's just like my friend Jerry always says, "you never know where you're going to find an old truck". Thus it was last week when I was down in Rhode Island moving our son. We were on our way down to Narragansett  via route 1 when I spotted one of the subjects of this post. We did not have time to stop that day, so I made it a point to go back the following day.

Fortunately I met up with a young lieutenant that showed me around the station and introduced me to one of the trucks that I saw, a 1927 Maxium that was used by the station up to the early 60's ----

"Ashes flew from Jerusalem’s traditional Independence Day bonfire, set ablaze on the eve of the celebration in 1959 by a group of mischievous youngsters in the middle of the night, reads the historical account of the history of the relationship between the Union Fire District and the isolated Narragansett neighborhood.
Wind carried burning embers through the sleepy community and across unsuspecting doorsteps. Cinders fell and smoldered on the rooftops and porches of homes. For more than 30 minutes homeowners waited for firefighters fromNarragansett’s Station No. 1 on Rodman Street to make their way around the Point Judith pond, through Wakefield and down Succotash Road to help them save their beachside cottages and squelch the flames of the untimely bonfire.
Although tragedy was avoided that night, Captain Emeritus Hilly Munson, a Union Fire District volunteer for the town of South Kingstown for since 1961, was a young man living in Jerusalem at the time. He said the bonfire scare brought to light the vulnerability of the neighborhood’s homes.
“They had a station there [in Jerusalem] at the time with an old 1927 Maxim Pumper, only when the call came in that night they couldn’t get the truck up over the hill,”  Munson said, referencing the steep stretch of road known today as Beach Row that the truck tried to climb. “After it took Point Judith more than 30 minutes to respond, people were wondering why the Snug Harbor Station, just a mile and a half down the road, didn’t come."

Once I got over drooling on this magnificent piece of fire apparatus history, I spotted somethig sitting over in the corner of the fire station I hadn't seen the day before. WOW!!! Here sat another great piece, a survivor of the previous hurricane albeit with a broken head gasket --- an early Federal pulling a 1907 horse drawn pumper. My best guess is this is a 1911 Federal.

The Pumper

Picture found on the internet of complete unit

I would say that this was a profitable visit, getting to see these two marvelous pieces of fire fighting history. I hope the guys at station #3 approve. My sincere thanks for allowing me the time to add these trucks to my collection, and for keeping them in truly beautiful condition!!

Narragansett Station # 3 as it appears today ---

Note: These may be the only pictures of this particular Maxim on line. The pictures of the Federal are also the only other ones with the exception of the "whole unit" picture used above.

A little something extra found on You Tube ----