Astronomers will sometimes speculate about the existence of an unseen heavenly body when a nearby visible heavenly body does something unusual. That scientific phenomenon is an analogy for what might be called "Hamden's forgotten fire company."
An early Hamden volunteer fire company located in a remote part of town was supposedly organized in the second decade of the 20th century. However, except for stories by old-timers and an occasional reference in the early minutes of another fire company, there was no real proof that the mysterious fire company actually existed - only speculation.
Speculation over Hamden's forgotten fire company ended earlier this week when local historian Mary Jane McGaffin contacted two members of the HFRA through the Hamden Historical Society. While looking through some old files, Mrs. McGaffin discovered numerous meeting minutes of the forgotten Hamden fire company, spanning the years 1911 to 1926. Below is a portion from the fire company's organizational meeting.
From the December 2, 1911 organizational meeting. Minutes were taken until at least 1926.
More on this interesting discovery in a future Friday update.
Grave Markers - Once a Tradition
Numerous fire department grave markers representing Hamden fire company Nos. 3, 4, 6 and 7 can be found in Whitneyville Cemetery at the corner of Treadwell Street and Whitney Avenue. At left is the Co. 3 marker by the headstone of career Firefighter Ralph Rosson (1887-1972), who was assigned to and was also a member of Company 3 for many years until his 1957 retirement.
HFRA thanks to Co. 7's Matt Erff and Justin Wetmore for discovering these markers while placing flags over Memorial Day weekend.
Are fire department markers like these found in other Hamden cemeteries? The "H.V.F.A" marker at the grave of E. (Edward) A. Austin, who was a Whitneyville resident, suggests that prior to the official formation of the Hamden Fire Department, there may have been a Hamden Volunteer Firemen's Association.
68 years ago!
The Hamden Chronicle, September 20, 1946 (Courtesy of the Hamden Historical Society)
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FIREWORKS NEXT FRIDAY!
The 35-Piece United States Navy Band Northeast will perform next Friday evening, July 27th, at the 21st Annual Hamden Volunteer Firefighters' Fireworks at Town Center Park. Rain date is Saturday, June 28th.
One of Hamden's longest serving pumpers, this Maxim 600 g.p.m. model, was delivered to Company 5 on January 6, 1930. It served as Engine 5 until 1952, when it was transferred to Station 6. In November 1960, the pumper was traded to O.B. Maxwell for $300 worth of credit. This photograph was snapped by Chan Brainard on State Street opposite Ridge Road around 1954.