History Of Hampton's Hand Fire Engine

History of the Hampton Fire Department

A tradition of service, courage and pride

Courtesy of Atlantic News & Advertiser

January 10, 1984

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(Compiled by W. Perry Tarleton)

Winnacunnete No. 1
This restored Hand Tub is owned by the
Hampton Firemen's Relief Association.
The history of the tub is rich and interesting.

The hand fire engine "WINNACUNNET NO. 1" was built by Button & Sons, Seneca Falls, New York, as a first class hand engine, with 10-inch cylinders, single air chamber, 24-foot brakes, and a pump capacity of about 250 to 275 gallons per minute at draft. The hand tub was built for Michigan City, Indiana in 1853 and its original name was "GERMANIA". In 1902, the hand engine was sold to West Manchester, New Hampshire and was renamed "GERMANIA NO. 2".

The handtub at the Fire Museum
"Winnacunnet No. 1" in the Fire Museum
adjacent to the Tuck Memorial Museum,
40 Park Avenue, Hampton, NH.

In 1903, the hand engine was sold to the Chelsea Veteran Firemans' Association and they loaned it to the Everett Veteran Firemans' Association, but it was returned to Chelsea soon after.

After its return from Everett, it was renamed the "WINNISIMMET", to replace the original "WINNISIMMET" which was destroyed in an accident. At Chelsea, the hand engine began attending musters. Its best play of 246 feet 5 3/4 inches was made at Newburyport, Massachusetts on October 12, 1922.

The hand engine remained in Chelsea until 1948, where it became one of the big money winners at that time. It was sold to Bath, Maine in 1948, renamed the "SAGADAHOC NO. 2" and in 1950, was sold to Georgetown, Massachusetts.

In December 1960, the remaining members at Georgetown, gave the "SAGADAHOG NO. 2" to W. Perry Tarleton, with the understanding that it be given to the Hampton Beach Firemans' Relief Association. During the winter of 1960-61, the hand engine was rebuilt, and renamed "WINNACUNNET NO. 1" in honor of the original name of Hampton in 1638. Restoring the equipment had not been an easy task as the apparatus was in a bad state of repair. But the local firemen doing most of the work themselves have polished the brass work, repaired the broken parts. Untold hours were spent repairing and building the hand tub.

The handtub in the Fire Museum
Another view of "Winnacunnet No. 1
in the Fire Museum.

The hand engine has taken part in musters at Hampton Beach, Deerfield, NH; Newbury, MA; and West Newbury, MA. It has won about $300 since being at Hampton Beach. In 1917, the hand tub won the league muster at Boston with a play of 234 feet, 41/2 inches.

The following makes of hand engines were made up to 1896: BUTTON & SONS, Seneca Falls, NY; LESLIE, Newburyport, MA; HUNNEMAN, Boston, MA; and JEFFERES of Pawtucket, RI.

(Footnote: As of December 1998, the Hand Tub is now on permanent display in the Fire Museum,
adjacent to the Tuck Memorial Museum at 40 Park Avenue, Hampton,NH.)
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