THE FIRE OF 1844
COLUMBIA COUNTY, NEW YORK
By Captain Franklin Ellis120
The fire of 1838 was fully equaled in destruction of property by the conflagration which occurred June 18, 1844. This was also discovered about five o'clock P.M., and was said to have been communicated by sparks from the steamboat "Fairfield," then lying at the wharf. There were destroyed two lumber-yards, an oil-factory, a warehouse filled with wool, the old still-house, containing a very large quantity of hay on storage, about thirty other buildings on Franklin, Ferry, and Water streets, three wharves, and a vessel laden with flour. The loss was estimated at $175,000, on which was an insurance of $65,000.
The first five engines of Hudson--Nos. 1 to 5, inclusive--have been mentioned. Then came No. 6, which was located at the print-works, which were then included in the city limits. Engine No. 7 was purchased soon after 1830, and was of the New York pattern, built by Smith, of New York. A new No. 3 was built by Henry Waterman, and was the first "piano" engine in Hudson. It is still in existence, and those who admired it in its youthful days believe it to be yet able to compete successfully with the best hand-engines of the present time. No. 8 (the highest number reached in the Hudson department) was a large engine of seven-inch cylinders. This and a new No. 1 of the same class were the last hand-engines purchased.
The first (and last) steam fire-engines of Hudson were purchased in April and August, 1868. These were the "J. W. Hoysradt" and the "H. W. Rogers." The former was numbered 8, and took the company of hand-engine No. 8, with Charles C. Champlin as its first captain; the "Rogers" took the number and company of 2, with Charles A. Dingman as captain. The company of No. 7 was disbanded, leaving in service hand-engines Nos. 1 and 3, with a truck company and a hose company.
The new water-works, with their unlimited supply of water always available under great pressure, have revolutionized the fire department; for now, with no equipment but the necessary length of hose, the firemen can at any time turn upon the fire as heavy and powerful a stream as could be thrown by the most efficient steamer. As a result, there are now only hose and truck companies, and the engines remain unused in their houses.
Following is a list of the chief officers of the fire department, and of the organizations now composing it:
Chief Engineer--Peter Loeffler
Assistant Engineers--Mason I. Crocker, George C. Miller
Edmonds Hose, No. 1--Lewis H. George, captain
Rogers Hose, No. 2--Henry L. Miller, captain
Washington Hose, No. 3--Michael Welch, captain
Phoenix Hose, No. 5--Crawford Blake, captain
Hudson Hose, No. 6--Robert V. Noble, captain
Hoysradt Hose, No. 8--R. Remington, Jr., captain
Hook and Ladder, No. 3--Charles S. Rogers, captain