Alexandria Fire Department Records, 1794-1893 Alexandria Fire Department Records 267

A Guide to the Alexandria Fire Department Records, 1794-1893

A Collection in
Alexandria Library
Local History/Special Collections
Accession Number 267


[logo]

Alexandria Library, Local History/Special Collections

Alexandria Library
Local History/Special Collections
717 Queen Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314-2420
(703) 838-4577 (voice)
(703) 706-3912 (fax)
Email: lhsc@alexandria.lib.va.us
URL: http://www.alexandria.lib.va.us/branches/lhsc.html

© 2008 Alexandria Library. All rights reserved.

Processed by: Debby Waller, 1992.

Repository
Alexandria Library, Local History/Special Collections
Accession Number
267
Title
Alexandria Fire Department Records, 1794-1893
Physical Characteristics
2 boxes (0.35 linear feet)
Language
English

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Preferred Citation

Alexandria Fire Department Records, Accession #267, Alexandria Library, Local History/Special Collections, Alexandria, Va.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Milton Penn, August 1991.

Accruals

Additional materials donated in 1995.


Biographical/Historical Information

The Alexandria Fire Department included five different volunteer fire companies during the period covered in these records. The first was the Friendship Fire Company, founded in 1774 and located on 107 South Alfred Street. Next was the Sun Fire Company in 1775. The Relief Fire Company was begun in 1788 and was located at 315 Prince Street. The Star Fire Company was started in 1799 and combined with the Friendship in 1852. Its new name was the Columbia Engine Company #4, when it was equipped with a new steam-powered fire engine in 1883. It was located at 109 South St. Asaph Street. In 1827, the Hydraulion Fire Company was founded. It was located at 1210 Cameron Street.

Each household in Alexandria purchased fire insurance and was assigned a specific fire company in case of disaster. The volunteer fire companies would not assist anyone without a plaque on their domicile or business, proving they were legitimately covered with insurance from the Fire Insurance Company of Alexandria.

Scope and Content

The papers in this collection cover all of the fire companies' business and legal transactions over a span of one hundred years. The canceled checks show the many expenditures necessary to outfit, maintain, and operate the volunteer fire companies. There are also many receipts from commercial firms who provisioned, repaired, serviced and supplied the volunteer fire companies. The Alexandria Common Council appropriated money each year to cover the entire Fire Department.

Many reports to the Common Council are included. These contain appropriations for the fire companies, fire warden appointees and resignations, construction and repair of fire houses, minutes of Fire Department meetings, the establishment of a Fire Department Board of Directors and the enactment of laws covering fire house bells and assembly at fire houses.

One report from the Fire Department, dated May 8, 1860, describes how much usable hose each fire company has on-hand and requests purchase of more hose, in linear feet. A quarterly report dated August 15, 1851 lists the number of members in each fire company: The Sun had 111; the Relief, 63; the Friendship, 76; the Star, 47; and the Hydraulion, 52.

Arrangement

The material is arranged chronologically by type of correspondence or business-related transaction. Arrangement repeated for Box 267B added in 1995.

Related Material

Alexandria vertical file: Fire Department, Old

Charles Sampson collections, Box 53 and Box 126-128.

Separated Material


Index Terms

  • Fire departments--Virginia--Alexandria

Contents List

Box-folder 267A:1
Canceled checks to various businesses for fire department services, September 3, 1844 - December 5, 1859
Box-folder 267A:2
Canceled checks to various businesses for fire department services, January 6, 1860 - December 2, 1865
Box-folder 267A:3
Canceled checks to various businesses for fire department services, April 30, 1866 - October 20, 1875
Box-folder 267A:4
Receipts for services and goods rendered to fire department from commercial firms, April 10, 1837 - November 27, 1851
Box-folder 267A:5
Receipts for services and goods rendered to fire department from commercial firms, January 1, 1854 - November 27, 1868
Box-folder 267A:6
Receipts for services and goods rendered to fire department from commercial firms, February 13, 1869 - December 31, 1872
Box-folder 267A:7
Receipts for services and goods rendered to fire department from commercial firms, January 1, 1873 - March 23, 1876
Box-folder 267A:8
Alexandria Common City Council documents concerning the Fire Department, January 17, 1794 - December 29, 1851
Box-folder 267A:9
Alexandria Common City Council documents concerning the Fire Department, January 7, 1852 - October 3, 1893
Box-folder 267B:1
2nd Ward 1858 Engine and Fire Dept. Gauges and Measures of Wood and Lumber - Election book(?)
Box-folder 267B:2
Deed and receipt to the Mayor of Alexandria from the Court of the County of Fairfax, 1794-1796
Box-folder 267B:3
Expenditures, 1847-1852
Box-folder 267B:4
Reports - Quarterly Night Watch (September and December 1851); Station House (January 16, 1870 and February 27, 1871)
Box-folder 267B:5
Acts Appropriating Salaries, 1859-1865
Box-folder 267B:6
Petition of Guy Atkinson and W. Yeaton to city council and letter to proprietor of theater regarding needed repairs, n.d.
Box-folder 267B:7
Petitions - Thomas Taylor for Clerk (1845); to celebrate Thanksgiving (n.d.)
Box-folder 267B:8
Miscellaneous - non Fire Department receipts and documents; guard and picket passes, 1864
Box-folder 267B:9
Mayor's office/City Council correspondence, 1820-1849
Box-folder 267B:10
Mayor's office/City Council correspondence, 1851-1859
Box-folder 267B:11
Mayor's office/City Council correspondence, 1862-1870
Box-folder 267B:12
Checks, 1844-1883
Box-folder 267B:13
Miscellaneous bills and receipts, 1794; 1835; 1840s
Box-folder 267B:14
Miscellaneous bills and receipts, 1850s
Box-folder 267B:15
Miscellaneous bills and receipts, 1860s
Box-folder 267B:16
Miscellaneous bills and receipts, 1870s