Merdith Fire Department
Sunday, April 21, 2024
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History of the Meredith Fire Department

    During the early years after the founding of the Town of Meredith, firefighting was done on a catch as catch can basis using whatever was at hand and by any and all means that were available.

    In 1859, a group of fifty men formed the original fire company. They worked and saved until they could acquire a second hand Hunneman Hand Tub fire pump from the City of Lowell, Massachusetts. With eight to ten men to hook up the hoses and then operate the pump sweeps, this cumbersome piece of equipment could put out a pretty decent stream of water up to about a one hundred foot distance.

    When it arrived in Meredith, the hand tub had already been in service in Lowell for ten years and had the name Wamesit painted on its sides. This was the original Indian name for that area of Massachusetts and to this day the name "Wamesit" is prevalent in Lowell history.

    The hand tub was the sole piece of fire fighting equipment used by Meredith until 1895. It had its limitations as to how far it could travel and where it could be used. A good source of water was needed to keep it supplied. A two horse hitch was needed to move it over the road any distance but a team of firefighters manned the traces for the short hauls.

    In 1894, the Town of Meredith voted to build the start of the present day water system including a system of hydrants. The water coming from the newly built reservoir off the Parade Road greatly improved Meredith's in-town fire fighting capabilities.

    January 2, 1895 marked a new era in the town's fire department. The old hand tub company was disbanded and the "new" Meredith Fire Department was created. The men chose to call themselves the Wamesit Hose Companies 1 and 2 and the Wamesit Hook and Ladder Company out of respect for their predecessors. Himes V. Jones was appointed by the fire commissioners to be chief of the new department. The charter members of the Wamesit companies were: Charles S. Woodman, David Knowlton, Fred A. Niles, Peter Lamay, Albert A. Kidder, John E. Choate, Henry Wallace, Henry W. Hubbard, Jerry M. Mayo, Newton E. Hickock, Ned B. Sanborn, Edwin Estes, George Prescott, Guy L. Perkins, Herbert O. Moulton, Frank D. Clark, William J. Tuttle, Leonard F. Clark, George W. Niles, Frank L. Hartshorne, E. George Burbank, Amos E. Wiggin, Charles W. Maloon, James A. Youngman, J. Warren Clough, Fred V. Colburn, Sidney D. Moulton, Orrin F. Bennett, Robert S. Moses, and Horace E. Fogg.

   Monthly meetings were arranged for the handling of company business and to discuss the manner in which previous fires had been handled in order to achieve excellence. At one of the meetings in 1895 it was noted that $10.00 per man be accepted as their yearly compensation.

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2024 Monthly Runs
{Month} {Total}
Run Totals
2023 510
2022 513
2021 503
2020 491
2019 448
2018 480
2017 474
2016 467
2015 414
2014 389
2013 445
2012 395
2011 384
2010 339

Meredith Fire Department 286 Daniel Webster Highway, Meredith, NH 03253 (603) 279-6061