< Browse to Previous Essay | Browse to Next Essay >
Fire company forms in Seattle after a fire in the central business district in 1876.
HistoryLink.org Essay 1513
: Printer-Friendly Format
In 1876 a volunteer fire company, Seattle Engine Company No. 1, forms in Seattle shortly after a fire occurs in T. P. Freeman's store in the center of the business district.
The city of Seattle purchased a hand-operated water pump fire engine from Sacramento and a cart and hose from Port Gamble for a total cost of $1,425. Ben Murphey headed the volunteers. The engine house for Seattle's first fire engine, named Sacramento, was a vacant stable on 2nd Street (later renamed Occidental Avenue) near Main Street. As part of the fire-readiness operation, the city placed cisterns at the center of major intersections to provide water.
The volunteer force got off to an inauspicious start. The first fire after the Sacramento arrived occurred at 5th Avenue and Cherry Street. When the fire engine reached James R. Robbins' residence, which was on fire, no water was available. The house burned down.
Seattle purchased its first steam fire engine in 1878.
Thomas Prosch, "A Chronological History of Seattle from 1850 to 1897" (typescript, dated 1900-1901, Northwest Collection, University of Washington Library, Seattle), 203-204.
Travel through time (chronological order):
< Browse to Previous Essay
Browse to Next Essay >
Science & Technology |
Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that
encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both
HistoryLink.org and to the author, and sources must be included with any
reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this
Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For
more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact
the source noted in the image credit.
Major Support for HistoryLink.org Provided
By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins
| Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry
| 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle
| City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach
Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private
Sponsors and Visitors Like You