Welcome to "Firefighting Week" at Historic Hood River. Major fires and firefighting equipment are a magnet for photographers, so I had plenty to chose from when selecting this week's five images.
There's so much going on here I don't know where to begin. The apparatus we're looking at is Hood River's first fire engine, a Chas. T. Holloway Chemical Engine. Chemical engines were the workhorses of fire departments of this era. This engine included two 30 gallon chemical tanks. One held a sulphuric acid solution, and the other held sodium bicarbonate. They combined to generate carbon dioxide at up to 200 psi, which could be used to drive the chemical mix out under pressure to extinguish the fire. In an era of hand pumps and low water pressure this engine could provide immediate water on the fire. Engines like this were used up to the 1920s, which is when Hood River purchased its 1920 American LaFrance.
I tracked this engine in our city council records. It was purchased for $1100 in late 1904 (horses not included). There were some related expenses recorded: $10.34 for chemicals, and $0.50 for brass polish (they couldn't throw that in for $1100?) There was also a charming note in the council minutes indicating that the freight from Portland was free, compliments of Captain E.W. Spencer of the steamer Chas. R. Spencer. A resolution of thanks was approved by the council.
The brick Paris Fair building was completed in 1906, and I suspect this image was taken in that year. If you look closely at the Paris Fair sign you can see it is studded with little light bulbs. Electricity was new to Hood River, but many of the Oak Street stores quickly added electric signs to attract interest. Note the electric transformer on the pole. The pole on the other side of the street with all the individual wires is for telephone service.
I can identify a few other businesses. Down 4th Street is "F.G. Coe Carpentering". The corner of 4th and Oak is a millinery (hats) and clothing store. If you look closely you can see some hats in the window.
Category: [Downtown Hood River]
While I generally dislike roster shots this one has a lot of interesting detail including the lanterns for night fire fighting....any idea on disposition Arthur?
Arlen Sheldrake on 28th January 2013 @ 8:18am
You are right Arthur. There is a lot to view in this photo.
I recognized that it tied in with the old City Hall photo #569. If you click on the 4th St. tag, you can see where this fire engine lived.
Captain Ernest Spencer had a beautiful log summer home on Spring Creek in Husum. It had its own power plant with electric heat.
l.e. on 28th January 2013 @ 8:37am
When the city purchased a new engine in 1920, it authorized the fire chief to travel to White Salmon to try to sell them this chemical engine. I don't know if that trip was successful, but I suspect this engine found a few more years of service in a town nearby.
Arthur on 28th January 2013 @ 9:01am
Too bad it's final resting place wasn't up at WAAAM
db on 28th January 2013 @ 1:06pm
Volunteer Fire Department was formed withe new chemical engine.
Jeffrey Bryant on 17th August 2014 @ 7:06pm