1.   Historical note

2.   Scope and content

3.   Provenance

4.   Processing note

5.   Inventory

6.   Subjects

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 Providence Fire Department Records

 Providence, R.I.

 Records, 1828-1988. Bulk, 1828-1936.

 Size: 1 linear foot

 Catalog number: MSS 214 sg 2

 Processed by: Rick Stattler, August 2002

©Rhode Island Historical Society

Manuscripts Division


Historical note:

            The town of Providence first organized a fire department in 1759, which operated on a mostly volunteer basis until 1854. The department was divided into companies, which had their own equipment and jurisdictions. In 1850, there were 10 engine companies, two hydraulion companies, two hook and ladder companies, and two rotary companies operating in the city, in addition to an independent organization.

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Scope and content:

            There are three main record types in this subgroup. Log books are a daily account of fires fought by the company, along with other actions like maintenance and parades. The level of detail varies, but can include detailed accounts of the actions of several companies. The log books generally contain rolls; these show which firemen served for each day. Account books show debits and credits with local merchants and volunteers. The membership book for Hydraulion Company #1 gives for each member his name, address and date of joining.

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            The Hydraulion Company #2 records were a gift of A.J. Myers in 1920. The Hydraulion Company #1 records were purchased from W.L. Conley in 1976. The Hook & Ladder Company #2 records arrived at an unknown date, but were apparently cataloged in the 1970s. The records of Engine Co. #4, Hose Co. #10, and all general records were donated by Michael F. Moise Jr. in 2002. The Hook and Ladder Co. #9 book and the 1896-1914 alarm log were donated by Barbara Izzi in 2002. The fire inspection reports from Hose Company #14 were donated by John Jacobson in 1997 and accessioned in 2002. They were found in the attic of the former fire station, which Jacobson had purchased for use as a recording studio.

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Box 1, folder 1. Alarm log, 1896-1914

For every fire alarm in the city, lists date, box number, time, company dispatched. No details on fires. Also monthly summaries of calls by company, and one page of 1888 notes.

Box 1, folder 2. Scrapbook kept by James M. Baker, 1893-1912

            Pasted over his ledger/journal kept as a pattern-maker, 1882-1883

Box 1, folder 3. Chief Michael F. Moise - Architectural reports on stations, 1984

Box 1, folder 4. Chief Michael F. Moise - Poem and historical notes by Virginia L. Doris, 1983

Box 1, folder 5. Chief Michael F. Moise - Miscellaneous:

            Newspaper article on swearing in, July 30 1973

            List of new appointees, May 3 1974

            List of stations, November 1977

            Holiday note from Mayor Vincent A. Cianci, 1979

            Roster, circa 1988

            Police telephone directory, undated

Box 1, folder 6. Memoranda:

            Note on fire at 404 Fountain Street, undated (circa 1920s?)

            Note on damaged flagpole at headquarters, April 8 1924

Engine Company #4 (270 Rochambeau Ave., East Side)

Box 1, folder 7. Log book, 1968-1969

Hook and Ladder Company #2 (Harrison St., West Side)

Box 1, folder 8. Log book and roll, 1867-1874. 1 vol

Hook and Ladder Company #9 (Mount Pleasant Ave. at corner of Dover St.)

Box 1, folder 9. Log book, 1904-1905

Hose Company #10 (143 Burnside St., South Providence)

Box 1, folder 10. Record of fires, 1924-1926

Hose Company #14 (106 Putnam St. off Atwells)

Boxes 2 and 3. Fire prevention inspection reports, circa 1933-1936.

Cards for many buildings in the West End, showing owner, agent, occupants of each floor, and remarks on dangerous conditions. Covered with dust and guano; not yet open for research.

Hydraulion Company #1 (Exchange St. in 1853)

Oversized volume. Log book and roll, 1852-1853.

Box 1, folder 11. By-laws and members, 1834-1857.

Box 1, folder 12. Log book, 1828-1837.

Box 1, folder 13. Extract from by-laws, 1838. 1 page.

Hydraulion Company #2 (at "old jail lot" in 1853)

Box 1, folder 14. Log book and roll, 1830-1850 and 1851-1854. 2 vol.

Box 1, folder 15. Accounts, 1831-1845.

Box 1, folder 16. Accounts, 1846-1848 and 1848-1850. 2 vol.

Box 1, folder 17. Miscellaneous receipts, etc., ca. 1853.

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Baker, James M., 1830-1919

Cianci, Vincent A., Jr., 1941-

Doris, Virginia L.

Engine Company #4 (Providence, R.I.)

Fire departments - Rhode Island - Providence

Hook and Ladder Company #2 (Providence, R.I.)

Hook and Ladder Company #9 (Providence, R.I.)

Hose Company #10 (Providence, R.I.)

Hose Company #14 (Providence, R.I.)

Hydraulion Company #1 (Providence, R.I.)

Hydraulion Company #2 (Providence, R.I.)

Moise, Michael F., 1929-1997

Pattern-making - Rhode Island - Providence

Providence, R.I. - Officials and employees

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