The historical outline below is taken from the program for the Second Annual Hamden Firemen's Memorial Service, held at Memorial Town Hall on June 10, 1934.
The History Committee for the event consisted of Messrs. Ralph Eno, Michael J. Whalen, and Harold G. Emerson.
c. 1947 - Station 8 - Dunbar Hill Volunteer Fire Co. No. 8
1916 Connecticut Registration Certificate for the 1910 Locomobile Chemical Truck
According to 1934 historical notes, in 1915 a 1910 Locomobile chemical truck owned by the Winchester Repeating Arms Co. was donated to the Whitneyville Fire Co. for "grass and other minor fires thus reserving the [1915 Maxim] pumping engine for graver emergencies."
On January 28, 1928, Whitneyville's 1910 Locomobile chemical truck was turned over to the Dunbar Hill Fire Association. At the present time, we have no picture of that piece of apparatus. However, prominent fire apparatrus author, Walter McCall, has kindly provided a photo of a 1910 Locomobile chemical truck just like the one assigned to Co. 8. The above scan of the 1916 registration certificate for Hamden's 1910 Locomobile, found in the earliest minutes of the Dunbar Hill Fire Association, proves its pedigree.
Co. 8's 1910 Locomobile chemical truck remained in service as Engine 8 until August 22, 1930, when it was placed in storage at the town hall and then sold.
1910 Locomobile Chemical Truck just like the one assigned to Co. 8 in 1928. (Photo courtesy of Walter McCall) CLICK PHOTO to enlarge.
On August 18, 1930, Co. 8 was assigned the 1918 Stewart Chemical truck (on the far right) that had been purchased for Mt. Carmel on December 24, 1918. Can anyone identify the driver and the woman in the passenger seat in this 1939 photo?
The pumper on the left is the 1925 Seagrave Suburbanite, that would become Engine 8 on September 18, 1939. The rider is Art Norman and the driver is Robert Reutenauer. Art Norman's nephew, Russ, would serve as a career department member from 1948 to 1979. Robert Reutenauer's son, George, would serve from 1946 until 1984.
1924 Stutz at Company 8 (Photo from "Commemorative History 1947" by the Dunbar Community Club and Dunbar Hill Fire Assn.)
This is the 1924 Stutz 350 gpm pumper that had been Engine 6 at Merritt Street since it was new. In 1942, Merritt Street's Stutz was replaced by Highwood's 1925 Maxim, and the Stutz was listed as having been "disposed of."
Even though old department records state that Engine 8 was Co. 4's old 1925 Seagrave Suburbanite from 1939 until 1957, this 1947 photo suggests that the 1924 Stutz continued in service at Company 8, perhaps as a spare.
The driver is identified as Harold Lewis. The fellow on the running board at the far right is Fred Baumgardt. The helmeted gentleman atop the truck is George Hindinger, Sr., who served on the Board of Fire Commissioners in the 1950s and 1960s. Another passenger is identified as member Soren Hansen, who celebrated his 80th birthday about the time this 1947 photo was taken.
This 1957 newspaper photo and article courtesy of Tom Doherty.
The Seagrave Suburbanite 350 GPM pumper in the newspaper photo above was purchased for Centerville's Co. 4 on May 7, 1925 for $6.500 (it was listed as a 1925 model, not 1924). The original tank capacity was 40 gal. Weight: 10,000 lbs.
It was removed from service as Engine 4 in April 1938, when the 1938 Seagrave 600 GPM pumper went in service at Co. 4. It was then assigned to Co. 8 on September 18, 1939, after it was sent to Boston to have the original 350 GPM pump removed and replaced with a 150 GPM pump and a new 200 gal. tank.
The newspaper photo appears to have been published in 1957. In December of that year, Co. 8 purchased Prospect's 1942 Diamond-T 500 GPM pumper (see photo below) to replace the 1925 Seagrave, which was then assigned to the newly organized Co. 9 in West Woods.
In August 1959, when the 1938 Diamond-T that had been the Emergency Squad was designated as Engine 9, the 1925 Seagrave was traded to the O.B. Maxwell Co. for $250.00 worth of credit toward purchase of the 1959 Maxim 750 GPM "cab-forward" pumper. Co. 8's 1942 Diamond-T pumper remained in active service until 1977, when it was sold to a private buyer.
A first line piece from May 1925 until August 1959, the 1925 Seagrave Suburbanite was not the longest serving active piece of Hamden fire apparatus. The 1965 Mack 750 GPM pumper, delivered in August of 1965, served at least until 2000.
We are currently working on an apparatus "genealogy" that, based on Department records, will trace the assignments of every piece of apparatus from delivery to disposal.
*From personal notes of Chief Charles Loller (courtesy of his great grandson, Russell Loller)
1960 - Nozzleman, Firefighter Burt Hillocks, with Vol. Co. 5's R.K. Spencer and Vol. Co. 8's Bill Hindinger. Fire Chief R.C. Spencer, in white helmet and bunker gear, can be seen emerging from doorway in background. Location unknown. CLICK to enlarge.
At an early 1960s June meeting of the New Haven County Fire Chiefs' Emergency Plan, Chief V. Paul Leddy (far left) with some colleagues. We can only identify Jim Doherty (center) of Cheshire.