United Steam Fire Engine Company #3

Jan 9, 2020

My boyfriend and I had to go downtown a few weeks ago…while waiting at a red light, the fire engine came back from a call. And I was lucky enough to have my camera (Canon EOS Rebel T6) with me. (I almost always have it with me!)

so below you will find some info about the company… when my son was in elementary school, his class took a field trip downtown, historic places was the destination and this fire house/station was one of the stops.

  • was established in 1845
  • originally called Mechanics Hose Company, four days later changed to United Hose Company
  • members were dubbed “swampers” by towns people, the original fire house was situated on swampy land near Carroll Creek
  • in 1847, a committee was formed to erect a building on the current site (photos above)
  • the nickname “swampers” is still proudly displayed on the back of the company’s engines.
“Old Lady”
(not my image)

“Old Lady” is currently being stored at the United Fire Station and will someday be on public display at the proposed Frederick County Fire Museum in Emmitsburg (near Gettysburg). It was built for the Mechanical Fire Company in Baltimore in 1821, rebuilt in 1847, and the United Fire Company (Frederick) purchased the tub pumper in 1859. It cost the company a little over $3,000 to purchase the pumper. The “old lady” was also owned by the volunteer fire company of Libertytown from 1880-1932.

“Lily of the Swamp”
(not my image)

The Lily of the Swamp” was placed into service in 1878, with the “swampers”, the United Steam Fire Company #3. During the drought of 1893, water was continuously pumped into the reservoir from a local spring for seventeen days. “Lily” was donated to The Smithsonian in 1932.

I have other images from when we went on the field trip, but I haven’t dug them out yet. When they built the fire house, horses were used to pull the engines… and they had to build the stairs steep so the horses, which were stabled on the first level , couldn’t climb the stairs to the upper levels. The image of “Lily” was taken somewhere in what is now baker Park, probably near where the Carillon now stands. And that area does – still – get swampy when we get heavy rains. (I’m judging this by the houses in the background of the photo.)


And that’s about all I have for now…

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One Comment on “United Steam Fire Engine Company #3

  1. Pingback: United Steam Fire Engine Company #3 — Holly’sWorld – Sarah's Attic Of Treasures

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