Metuchen Edison History Features

Recollections of

Boyhood Days

In Old Metuchen


David Trumbull Marshall

Published by The Case Publishing Co., Flushing NY 1930

(Second Edition)- (c) 1930


The Washington Hose Company

The Washington Hose Company was organized December 11, 1897, and incorporated December 2, 1898, with Ferd VanSiclen as President, D. C. Whalen as Foreman, William D. Almond, Secretary; W. A. Thornall, Financial Secretary, and William Carman, Treasurer. Members: Charles Ayers, Thomas VanSiclen, Joseph F. Randolph, Enos Fouratt, Charles A. Johnson, John T. Gedney, Michael Ronnan, William Martin, James Powers, Jr., John W. Breen, Charles Hartman, Sidney Hulsizer, James Breen, David J. Keenan, Charles H. Dulling, John Dempsey, Jr., John Noble Pierson, Elias Guest, Martin Whalen, F. Hubble, Albert A. Fulkinson, J. J. Almond and R. W. Horn.

The company started out with a jumper on which were hung a dozen buckets. About a year later, 1899, the old hand pumping engine was bought. This was the old New York Volunteer Fire Department's Engine, Fulton No. 21, of which Theodore Smith, the great grandfather of William and Arnett Smith of Metuchen, was foreman. The engine itself is said to be about 150 years old and is a valuable relic and should be preserved in some museum.

The day after the engine arrived there was a fire in Wittnebert's barn. Tom Smith had a team of horses standing nearby. These were hitched to the engine. At the fire two wells were pumped dry in about two minutes each, and then the pond in Coudert's Grove. The building was saved.

In 1905 a horse-drawn hose-truck replaced the hand pumping engine and this in turn was replaced by an automobile truck in 1914.

On October 5, 1927, the Borough took over both fire companies and appropriated a sum of $20,000 with which were purchased a new automobile fire engine and equipment for each company.



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Lasted updated 6/8/99 by Jim Halpin.