Duxbury Free Library
77 Alden Street
Duxbury, Massachusetts 02332
781-934-2721

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Finding Aid: Duxbury Fire Department

The Papers of the Duxbury Fire Department

Collection Overview

Collection Name : The Papers of the Duxbury Fire Department
Span Dates: 1835-2000
Creator:
Duxbury Fire Department
Extent:
73 items
Language:
Collection material is in English
Repository:
The Duxbury Free Library History Room
Abstract:
This collection contains records created by and related to the Duxbury Fire Department

Historical Note

We don't know much about fire fighting in Duxbury prior to 1834, nor are there many records extant between 1834 and 1947. Duxbury had an organized Fire Department with Henry Wadsworth and Peleg Keen on the board of Engineers when two Hunneman hand-engines were purchased for the Town in 1834 and 1835. There were 29 men in No.1 company and 27 in No.2 company. The selectmen at the time were Elbridge Chandler, Daniel Bosworth and Samuel Atwell.

According to an article written by the Rev. Canon Robert Merry and published in the Duxbury Clipper*, a fire that demolished Capt. Alexander Wadsworth's house on Washington St. near Surplus was instrumental in the organization of a true fire department, giving Hortense Merry and Frederick Knapp the job of organizing and training.

1900 saw the beginnings of an organized forest fire department with Horatio Chandler as chairman and Frederick Knapp as secretary. The fire engineer's board was organized on March 7, 1906. Two fire companies were formed, each composed of 20 men. No.1 station was built on a site next to what is now known as the Drew Archives, the former Duxbury Free Library. It was captained by H. E. Merry. No.2 station was built on Chestnut Street near Depot Street. Its captain was J.H. Glover. In 1906 Duxbury had 3 fire wagons and 2 private ones. Frederick Knapp was named Chief Engineer. In 1908, No. 1 Engine House was moved to Washington Street near the Blue Fish River Bridge to be closer to the livery stable. The engine companies also provided social activities.

Duxbury's first motorized fire fighting apparatus was purchased about 1919 and housed at No.2 Engine House. No. 1 Engine House held a Model “T” Ford. In 1923 the Model “T” was used to fight forest fires and a Brockway 1 ½ ton truck was purchased.

Duxbury's first full time professional firefighter was Richard Whitney. He was hired by the town in 1929. This position remained until 1955. The fireman was on duty 24 hours. Even the fire chief was paid only on an hourly basis as he put in part time. Shift fire fighters began in 1955, skin diving team in 1962, and an ambulance was added in 1963. The Tremont St. station was built in 1968 as was the Ashdod Station. Ashdod subsequently closed in 1989 and reopened in 2000.

* (Duxbury Clipper, Aug. 31, 1950)

Subject Headings

Duxbury (Mass.)
Fire Departments
Fire Stations
Engine Companies
Volunteer Fire Departments
Fire Extinguishers
Log Books
Minutes and Proceedings
Account Books
Notebooks

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions: For use in the library only (Duxbury History Room)

Finding Aid Prepared by : Kerry Durkin, February 2009, Jody Hall June 2009- December 2009

Scope and Content Note : This collection is made up of 73 items, created by the Duxbury Fire Department. The collection is separated into seven series, as follows:

Series 1: Record Books; 1835-1986; 18 items
Series 2: Account Books, 1960-1991, 7 items
Series 3: Daily Maintenance Logs, 1981-1987, 7 items
Series 4: Fire Record Logs, 1933-1962, 10 items
Series 5: Log Report Books, 1955-1989, 19 items
Series 6: Log Report Books-Station 2 and Ashdod. 1969-1990, 5 items
Series 7: Miscellany, 1932-2000; 7 items

Item List

Series 1: Record Books, 1835-1986; 18 items

  1. Record Book; Clerk's Account Book; Engine 2; 3/1835-2/20/1856
  2. Record Book of the Board of Fire Engineers; 3/17/1906-1/31/1933
    • Includes meeting minutes
    • *cover is off
  3. Record Book of Duxbury Fire Department; 12/3/1907-12/20/1921
    • Includes meeting minutes
    • Member list
    • *binding is breaking
  4. Record Book of Fires; 1/1/1909-1919
    • P.24-member list, p. 120-member list
    • P25.-meeting minutes; 2/5/1924-1/7/1930
    • P27-Accounts, Engine Company 2, 1929
    • *Binding broken
  5. Record Book, Fire Company 1; Secretary's Reports; 3/31/1913-1/3/1928
    • Includes meeting minutes
    • Includes member list
  6. Duxbury Fire Department Supply Notebook; c.1916-1943
    • Listing of fire extinguishers
    • *loose pages, binding ripping
  7. Record Book; 1/3/1928-9/3/1929
    • Includes meeting minutes
    • *small black binder
  8. Record Book-Engine Company 1; 10/1/1929-12/6/1932
    • Includes meeting minutes
    • In black University Loose-leaf Binder
  9. Record Book of Company 1; 10/4/1929-9/27/1945
    • includes accounts, member list
  10. Record Book, Dept. 2; 1/7/1930-12/3/1933
    • Includes meeting minutes
    • Member list
  11. Records of Headquarters Engine Company 1; 1/3/1933-12/7/1942
    • includes meeting minutes
    • *in black binder with broken binding
  12. Records of Engine Company 2; 2/6/1934-12/2/1941
    • includes Honor Roll, member lists
  13. Records of Engine Company 2; 1/7/1942-12/2/1947
    • includes meeting minutes, Honor Roll, member list
    • *letter inside from Gov. Tobin to Board of Selectmen, dated 5/15/1946 (copy) thanking for service in fighting Cape fires.
    • **binding has been taped
  14. Record Book of Engine Company 1; 1/4/1943-12/3/1945
    • includes meeting minutes
    • *black binder
  15. Records of Engine Company 2; 1/1948-12/1957
    • includes member list, meeting minutes, Honor Roll
  16. Board of Fire Engineers Record Book; 5/9/1955-2/13/1961
    • includes meeting minutes
  17. Record Book; 1/6/1958-10/4/1965
    • Includes member list, treasurers record and meeting minutes
  18. Duxbury Fire Department Sign In Log; 7/16/1984-2/21/1986

 

Series 2: Account Books, 1960-1991, 7 items

  1. 1960-1961
  2. 1/1962-12/1962
  3. 1/1963-11/1967
  4. 11/1967-1/1970
  5. 1/1971-7/1974
  6. 7/1974-7/1983
  7. 7/1983-1/1991
  8. 1980-1986

 

Series 3: Daily Maintenance Logs, 1981-1987, 7 items

  1. 1981
  2. 1982
  3. 1983
  4. 1984
  5. 1985
  6. 1986
  7. 1987

 

Series 4: Fire Record Logs, 1933-1962, 10 items

  1. 1/1933-12/1936
  2. 1/1/1937-12/22/1942
  3. 1/1943-12/1950
  4. 1/1951-12/1953
  5. 1/1954-12/31/1955 *unattached
  6. 1/1956-12/31/1957
  7. 1/1958-12/1959
  8. 1/1/1960-12/31/1960
  9. 1/1961-12/1961
  10. 1/1962-9/1962

 

Series 5: Log Report Books, 1955-1989, 19 items

  1. 4/5/1955-5/1/1958
  2. 5/1/1957-11/30/1959
  3. 12/1/1959-5/31/1962
  4. 6/1962-12/1963
  5. 1/1/1964-3/31/1965
  6. 4/1/1965-7/31/1966
  7. 8/1/1966-1/1/1968
  8. 1/1/1968-10/31/1969
  9. 11/1/1969-9/21/1971
  10. 9/23/1971-7/31/1973
  11. 8/1/1973-1/1/1975
  12. 1/1/1975-2/7/1976
  13. 1/1/1976-10/5/1979 (Typed)
  14. 10/5/1979-10/6/1982 (Typed)
  15. 10/6/1982-4/11/1985 (Typed)
  16. 4/12/1985-6/25/1986
  17. 6/25/1986-7/31/1987
  18. 7/31/1987-8/4/1988
  19. 8/4/1988-7/25/1989

 

Series 6: Log Report Books-Station 2 and Ashdod. 1969-1990, 5 items

  1. 10/1/1969-7/14/1978
  2. 7/17/1978-8/25/1982
  3. 8/26/1982-12/10/1985
  4. 12/12/1985-10/21/1988
  5. 1/1/1989-5/25/1990

 

Series 7: Miscellany, 1932-2000; 10 items

  1. Book; ‘Frederick Bradford Knapp: Educator, Publicist, Forester'; FBK memorial; Duxbury Fire Companies; 1933
    1. Given in memory of Elmer L. Glass by Eleanor Cole
  2. Correspondence; Eben Briggs to ‘To Whom It May Concern”; April 21, 1956; re: fires at Merry Cabins
  3. Duxbury Firemen's Relief Association-Rules and By-Laws; Effective, February 10, 1932
  4. Album of Color Photographs from the Ashdod Reopening Ceremony; April 29, 2000
    1. Includes program from the event

•  Guest Book, Sept. 29, 1963

•  Duxbury Fireman's Relief Association Treasurer's Report book, 1943-1963

•  4x4 Trucks, 1968-1969

 

Jody Hall-Duxbury Free Library

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