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"Annals of Harrisburg" by George Morgan


The example of the Citizen Fire Company in procuring hose to meet the requirements of the change in the fire department, caused by the introduction of water into the borough, was followed by the organization of a company whose apparatus consists exclusively of hose and it's carriage. Being convinced of the utility of such an organization, a number of young men met in the dining room of the "United States" Hotel, on the corner of Second and Mulberry streets, on Wednesday evening, January 27th, 1841, for the purpose of organization , and to raise funds to purchase a hose carriage. A committee was appointed to solicit money , by subscription, to purchase a carriage, and on the 5th of February, 1841, that committee reported that sufficient amount had been subscribed by the citizens, when John L. Martin was deputed to purchase the carriage of the Washington Hose Company, of Philadelphia, at a cost of one hundred and eighty dollars. The carriage was received on the 20th of March, 1841, and at the same time the Town Council furnished the company with six hundred feet of hose. On Friday evening, April 2nd, 1841, the company was regularly organized, and denominated the "Washington Hose Company," of Harrisburg, Pa. -- a constitution and by-laws adopted, and the following officers were elected: -President, Lwvi Wolfinger; Vice-President, John L Martin; Secretary, E.S.German; Treasurer, David Lingle. From this period the company has been one of the most active and efficient in the borough. On the 3rd day of May, 1843, application was made to the Court of Dauphin county for an act of incorporation, which was granted on the 2nd day of September, 1843, and recorded on the 8th day of September, 1843, in deed book P, volume 2, page 432.

On the 2nd of February 1844, a lot of ground was purchased on the corner of Second street and Meadow Lane, from C.L. Berghaus, Esq., for the sum of ninty dollars. The building was commenced on the 4th of March, 1844, and on the 23rd of March, 1844, the corner-stone was laid with appropriate ceremonies. The building was completed on the 3rd of August, 1844. It is one of the most perfect of the kind in the state, being provided with all the most approved accommodations suitable to the character of the uses to which it is applied. The first, or ground floor, is occupied by the apparatus of the company, and communicates with Second street by means of two large folding doors, rendering a free and rapic exit or entrance. The second story is appropriated to meetings, &c., and is furnished in the highest style of magnificence - resembling, indeed, more the luxurious appointments off a fashionable drawing-room than anything we can compare it to. Imported ingrain carpeting -- four walnuts divans and sofas, whose yielding cushions invite repose -- centre tables--fancy desks for the officers--gothic cottage chairs--damask curtains--gas chandelier--glass book-cases, well filled with instructive volumes--and beautiful paintings, constitute but a portion of its elegant and costly furniture. We opine that a sight of this room would make some of our city brethern stare. to some, perhaps, these arrangements might seem superfluous; but we incline to the opinion that the superior order and beauty exhibited there, has a tendency to cherish and promote a refined taste amoung the members themselves. The entire building is heated by a large furnace in the cellar, and the arrangements for cleaning their hose, &c, are perfectly in keeping with the character of those we have already described. The cost of the building was eight hundred dollars. The carriage being old and ill suited, another was proposed and urged of more modern construction, for which object members were chosen to raise money by subscription, and on the 22nd day of May, 1850, a contract was made with George Ruhl, of Philadelphia, to build a "crab" or hose carriage for the sum of three hundred and fifty dollars, which was completed and given into the charge of a committee on the 5th of October, 1850. The company is clear of all indebtedness.

Officers in October, 1858: President, John H. Zeigler; Vice President, Alfred A. Pancake; Secretary, Peter Bernheisel, Jr.; Treasurer,George H. Bell; Directors, George Pancake, John F.C. Dace, John Bernheisel, Samuel Bernheisal, Charles H. Etter, George W. Hoffman; Inspectors, Peter K. Boyd, Frederick P;Haehnlan, Thomas W. Peeples, Charles Gordon, Albert R. Shoop.




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