Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

When Did Pelham's Minneford Engine Company Acquire its First Fire-Fighting Steam Engine?

The history of the earliest years of organized fire fighting in the Town of Pelham is particularly fascinating.  One important development in this regard was the organization of Pelham's Minneford Engine Company, a volunteer fire company that served City Island for more than a decade.  I have written about the Minneford Engine Company before.  See:  

Wed., Dec. 09, 2015:  Pelham's Minneford Engine Company Built a New Fire House on City Island in 1894.  

Thu., Dec. 10, 2015:  Grand Fire-Fighting Competition and Parade Held in the Town of Pelham in 1891.  

Fri., Nov. 20, 2015:  Account of 1894 Fire in One of Pelham's Earliest Newspapers.

Thu., Oct. 08, 2009:  Firefighting Units on City Island in Pelham During the Early 1890s.  

Fri., Aug. 28, 2009:  Reorganization of the Minneford Engine Company on City Island in February, 1891.  

So far research has not revealed with certainty when the Minneford Engine Company was first organized or when it first acquired its steam engine.  As I wrote recently, "[r]esearch has not yet revealed the origins of the Minneford Engine Company, but it seems clear that it existed prior to February 20, 1891 since, according to one news report published on February 28, 1891, it was 're-organized as an independent company' as of that date."

Additional research now reveals that the steam engine was acquired in about November, 1890 suggesting that the Minneford Engine Company likely was organized earlier in that year rather than in 1891.  A very brief reference in The World published in New York City on November 28, 1890 detailing Thanksgiving Day celebrations in the New York region on November 27 stated:


There was a celebration at City Island by the firemen in honor of the introduction of the first steam fire engine on City Island, by the members of Minneford Engine Company.  A parade through the principal streets was followed by a friendly contest between the Huguenot Engine of New Rochelle and Minneford Engine, the latter being declared the winner.  In the evening the firemen held a ball in Leveugh's Hall [sic; likely Leviness Hall]."

Source:  EVERYBODY HAD TURKEY, The World [NY, NY], Nov. 28, 1890, p. 7, col. 7 (NOTE:  Paid subscription required to access via this link.)

This brief reference makes clear that by November 27, 1890, the Minneford Steam Engine Company already existed and had taken delivery of its new steam engine.  

Members of the Minneford Engine Company with Their Steamer
Nicknamed "Minneford."  Photograph Taken in About 1900 After City
Island Was Annexed by New York City and Not Long Before the
Volunteer Fire Fighting Unit Was Disbanded.  Photograph Courtesy
of the Digital Collections of the Office of The Historian of The
Town of Pelham. NOTE: Click on Image to Enlarge.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home