Chemung County NY
1885 Elmira Paid Fire Department - Annual Report

Elmira Fire Department 1887
Photos - Elmira NY Fire Department
Township: City of Elmira, Chemung County NY
1885 Annual Report
Formatted & Published by Joyce M. Tice
Typed for Tri-Counties by Cynthia REYNOLDS Murdock & Deborah JUDGE Spencer 
Photos submitted by Tom Brace
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Elmira, N.Y.:

Telegram Book and Job Print, 1885

By Ald. Davison:

Resolved, That the Annual Report of the Chief Engineer of the Fire Department be received, and that three hundred (300) copies of the same be published in pamphlet form under the direction of the City Clerk and Chief Engineer.




ELMIRA, N.Y., FEB. 16, 1885.

To the Honorable, the Common Council of the City of Elmira:

We herewith present to you the Report of R.H. WALKER, Chief Engineer of the Fire Department for the ten months ending February 1, 1885, which gives a detailed and complete inventory of the property and apparatus of the Fire Department; a statement of the repairs to buildings and apparatus and the cost of the same; the number and location of the fire alarm boxes and directions for giving alarms; the number and location of hydrants, and a detailed report of fires and alarms, showing the loss caused by each fire and the amount of insurance on the property destroyed. The Report also contains a complete inventory of apparatus of the Fire Alarm Telegraph constructed by the Gamewell Fire Alarm Telegraph Company, and accepted by the Mayor and committee on Fire Department, October 1st, 1884.

We recommend to your favorable consideration the suggestions of the Chief Engineer in reference to the water supply and the purchase of a Chemical Fire Extinguisher.

Respectfully submitted.




Board of Fire Commissioners.

Fire Commissioners.

HENRY FLOOD, Mayor, President.



Fire Department Committee.



Chief Engineer, ROBERT H. WALKER.

Assistant Engineer & Sup’t Fire Alarm. WILL Y. ELLETT.

Office of Chief Engineer, Elmira Fire Department,
Tower Building, Market Street
Elmira, February 2, 1885

To the honorable Board of Fire Commissioners of the City of Elmira:

GENTLEMEN: Herewith I have the honor as Chief Engineer of the Elmira Paid Fire Department, to submit to you my annual report for the year ending February 1st, 1885, together with such recommendations as in my opinion are necessary for the efficiency of this Department.

I have endeavored to present to your honorable body all items of interest connected with this Department, and with the assistance of the Assistant Engineer and the Foremen of Companies, am able to give a complete inventory of all city property, including the expenses of Department; a list of fire alarm boxes; number of hydrants and their locations, with a correct list of all fires and alarms, with loss and insurance.

The Department has undergone several changes during the year, the most important one being the appointment of Fire Commissioners. By an act of the Legislature, passed June 14, 1884, authorizing the Mayor to appoint two Fire Commissioners, Messrs. W. J. Lormore and Charles Hazard were duly appointed and qualified; they together with the Mayor and City Clerk, constitute the Board of Fire Commissioners.

At their regular meeting held September 17, 1884, they re-appointed all members then serving the city. In this we find a great change in the Department from the old manner of being appointed by the City Council, as there is by far greater discipline among its members, with a cordial feeling toward one another, and respect to their officers. The various companies are composed of reputable and well disciplined men who take great interest in the discharge of their duties.

Special cause for general gratification is the freedom of the city from extensive conflagrations; in no instance has a fire occurred attended by loss of life or any serious accident.

During the past year the Department has been called out sixty times, and their services required forty-seven times, and it is with pleasure I report that the Department has not been called out through false alarms during the year. With the efficiency and great promptness of the Department no fires have attained any very great loss, and in consideration of the rapid and extensive growth of our city, the loss by fire has been very light as compared with that of past years.

For a full list of fires and alarms I refer to tabulated statement appended.

Repairs to Buildings.

During the past year several much needed improvements have been made, and through the zealous efforts of Chairman Davison, of the Fire Department Committee, nothing has been left undone. As far as the annual appropriation would allow, the several houses have been painted and kalsomined; water closets and bath rooms and wash stands introduced, for the better comfort of the men. All of the old sheds have been removed from the rear of the Department buildings and new ones erected in their places, which are used as general storehouses of the Department. The Department’s grounds have been enclosed with neat fences and gates with suitable locks, between each building; the house of Truck Co. No. 1 has been re-painted; new matting covers the once bare bunk room floors, and in the whole the Department has undergone a remarkable change.


To the gratification of the Department and citizens in general, is the introduction of the much needed and long talked of fire alarm system which was placed in our city by the Gamewell Fire Alarm Telegraph Company, of New York City and Boston. It was turned over to the city and accepted October 1, 1884. We have forty-one boxes and all are well located. One four circuit repeater and one large size bell striker; five engine house gongs with indicators. There have been about 388 keys distributed among the citizens. Great care has been taken by the committee in charge, in placing these keys, four being left with reliable parties in the vicinity of each box and the names of the several key holders painted on an iron frame fastened to the pole over each box. The keys are all numbered and charged to each individual, and a record of the same is kept at Department headquarters.

Since October 12th we have had twenty-nine alarms, and in no instance has there been any difficulty in receiving them; this has been the means of saving more than the cost of the entire apparatus already, and affords a better protection to the city, as only a portion of the Department answers the first call. That portion of the Department not answering the first call are required to report to their several quarters in readiness to answer a signal for relief or another alarm.

For a full list of the property connected with the Telegraph apparatus, see report of the Superintendent of Fire Alarms.


Consists of Four Steam Fire Engines; One Hays Truck and Fire Escape; Two one-horse Hose Carts; One Relief Cart and One supply Wagon.


There are, at present, six horses belonging to the Department, four of them in good condition. "Old Jim," drawing No. 1 Hose Cart, I would recommend be exchanged for a younger horse, he having been in active service eleven years, and is now too slow and not able to do the work required. The gray horse, in the team of No. 2, I would also recommend be exchanged. He is a good, sound horse, but not fit to be in a Fire Department; a team should be as near alike in disposition as possible. The horses now used in drawing the Hays Truck are furnished from an adjoining livery. I would recommend that a team be purchased for this company, for there are times when they are altogether too slow in getting to a fire, caused by the delay in hitching. This should receive immediate attention; a city of our size should certainly be well equipped with this apparatus; as it is now it cannot be depended upon, and as the Extinguishers are carried on this truck, the delay in reaching a fire makes them almost useless.


The harness in our Department, with one exception, are in poor condition. The double harness of Steamer No. 2, is a swinging one and in good condition; the double harness of Steamer No. 1 and single harness of Hose Companies Nos. 1 and 2, are of the old styles and will soon have to be replaced by new ones. I would recommend that swinging harness be furnished for Steamer No. 1 and Hose Companies Nos. 1 and 2, not alone on account of quick hitching, for the gain over our present system would be slight; but principally for the beneficial effect upon the horses in not being compelled to wear them day and night, and a saving of wear and tear arising from horses rolling and other restless motions in their stalls. I would also recommend a new swinging harness for the Truck Company, as the one they are using, an old style one, has to be put on the horses when the alarm comes in. This company could make better time if this change was made, with the present team from the livery stable.


The quarters of the different companies, bell tower and officers’ quarters, are in good condition with the exception of the front doors of companies Nos. 1 and 2, also Truck Company No. 1. It was the intention of the Fire Committee to put in new ones, but work was suspended for lack of funds. I would recommend that new doors be placed in these quarters, and that they be made lighter than the present ones, and that they have a transom or stationary section on top, under the present arch which would leave ample room for the movement of the apparatus. I would also recommend that new floors be laid in No. 2 and Truck No. 1 quarters, and that the room adjoining the officer’s quarters be fitted up for a reading room for use of members of the Department. I would respectfully call you attention to the manner of heating the several quarters. At present there are two furnaces, which are worthless, and ten stoves. One-half of these will have to be replaced by new ones. I would recommend that the entire building, including the hose tower, be warmed by steam, placing the boiler in the cellar under the hose tower where the old furnace now stands, and from this take steam to the several quarters. This change would save one-half the quantity of fuel now used, and make the quarters far more comfortable than at present. As the heater for Steamer No. 1 causes much trouble in constantly giving out, I would recommend that a new one be furnished as soon as the appropriation of funds will allow.

Engines and Hose Carts.

I would recommend that the Hose Cart of No. 2 be repaired, as it needs new axles and felloes on wheels, and re-painting, and that the heavy cart of No. 1 be used only as a reserve cart, and that a lighter one with four wheels be purchased, and to be light enough to be easily drawn by one horse and with carrying capacity of 1,000 feet of hose, for in cold weather it is impossible to get the full amount we are required to carry after being used on a smaller reel. And that Steamers No. 1 and reserve Steamer be painted. This I recommended in my report of 1883.


This very important item connected with the Department should have your immediate attention, as you will see by the amount and condition of hose on hand. I would recommend the immediate purchase of 1,500 feet of cotton hose. The wear and tear of hose is very great, and the supply consequently must be maintained. I find by experience that the cotton hose is the best and cheapest, and recommended by nearly all Engineers, and always assures you of a dry line when necessary to carry hose through adjoining buildings in order to reach a fire.

There is at present on hand:

3,100 feet leather hose, poor.

2,000 feet cotton hose, good.

Water Supply.

This most important element for the security of our city from fires, I find unequalled in its supply. This is the heaviest tax upon the Department fund. I find from the increase of the number of fire hydrants ordered by the City Council last year, that our annual water tax, which is charged to the Fire Department account, is now about ten thousand dollars. This amount I separate from expense account, as a great many of our citizens wonder at the amount appropriated for the maintenance of the Department.

There has been added to the list of hydrants since my last report of 135, thirty-six hydrants with four private hydrants, making the total of 175 in the city. I would recommend that hydrants be placed in the business portion of the city for the better protection, should a large fire occur.

I find that the water supply in that portion of the Fifth ward lying south-west of Fulton street and south of Elm street, is very poor from the few hydrants that are there. We can scarcely get water enough for one stream. I would recommend that cross-mains be laid from or near pump house across the river and connect with the present mains to give that portion and the upper end of the ward a complete circuit. Also that a water main be laid on East Hudson street, with the usual number of hydrants, and that the main on Pennsylvania avenue be extended to Mount Zoar on Franklin street, for the better protection of property in the Fifth ward.

Fire Alarm Boxes.

I would recommend that ten additional fire alarm boxes be purchased and be located as follows: one on the corner West Hudson and Walnut streets; one near the Orphan’s Home; one on Pennsylvania Avenue near Harris & McHenry’s Mill; one on the corner of Main street and East Chemung Place; one on the corner of East Water and Sullivan streets; one on the corner of Lake and East Market streets; one on the corner of Dewitt and East Market Streets; two in the Seventh Ward, and one on the corner of West Water and Davis streets.

Fire Extinguisher.

I would recommend the purchase of a four wheeled Chemical Engine, fully equipped with all the latest appliances for extinguishing fires. In many cases small fires in the business portion of the city could be stopped with little or no damage. The extinguishment of fires by chemicals is very effective, and involves much less loss than by water, and is in use in nearly all cities, and would add greatly to the efficiency of our Department as well, as the large and growing interests of our city demands this protection; buildings on the outskirts of the city could be protected, where there are no water mains or other means of obtaining water, with a Chemical Engine. We would require one good horse, one driver and two permanent men. Quarters for this 16.

apparatus could be easily attached to the north side of the Truck House, and would not involve any great expense.


There has been but one death, that of Patrick Carroll, driver of Steamer No. 2, who contracted his disease during his long connection with the Department. He died of Bright's disease. His funeral was attended by the Fire Committee and Fire Commissioners and a detail of members from the Department. His place was filled by the Council's appointing Joseph Clark, and old and experienced fireman. Mr. Carroll was a good and faithful fireman, and as a mark of respect I set aside the last page of this report to his memory.

Fireman's Relief Fund.

I hereby express the heartfelt thanks of the Department to the Hon. Mayor and Fire Committee for their aid in having the following bill passed:

AN ACT to amend chapter 390 of the Laws of 1866, entitled "An Act to revise and amend the Charter of the Elmira Fire Department," passed April 15, 1883, making the Mayor and Fire Committee of the City Council the Board of Trustees, and by this act and resolutions of this board established a fund setting aside the money collected from foreign insurance companies, as a separate relief fund, to be used only for the benefit of sick and disabled firemen : Which money is placed in the hands of the City Chamberlain, subject to the disposition of the Fire Commissioners.


On behalf of the Fire Department, I desire to thank the citizens of Elmira for their good will and kind sympathy so often and pleasantly manifested on various occasions. I return thanks to the Hon. Mayor, Henry Flood, and Fire Commissioners Lormore and Hazard; Alderman Davison, Chairman of the Fire Department Committee; Assistant Chief Engineer Ellett and to the officers of the various companies, and to the members of the Department for their courteous conduct, zealous attention to duty and their untiring labor in striving to promote the general efficiency of the service.

To the Fire Commissioners, as chief officer, I am proud to refer you to the high standing of excellence that prevails in the Elmira Fire Department. Considering the means at its command, I claim it ranks second to none. With your co-operation and support we have faith that the coming year will tend solely to prosperity and progress.

Fire Alarm Boxes.


4 Fire Department Headquarters.

12 Corner West Water and N. Main Streets.

13 " West Gray and Columbia Streets.

14 " West Church and North Main Streets.

15 " West First and Davis Streets.

16 " West Church and Walnut Streets.

17 " West Water and Hoffman Streets.

21 " West Second St. and R. R. Avenue.

23 " West Second St. and College Avenue.

24 " West Clington and N. Main Streets.


25 Corner West Fifth St. and R. R. Avenue.

26 " West Fifth St. and College Avenue.

27 " West Washington and College Avenues.

31 " East Church and William Streets.

32 " East Church and High Streets.

34 " East Second and Lake Streets.

35 " East Clinton and Lake Streets.

36 " East Third St. and Madison Avenue.

37 " East Clinton and Oak Streets.

41 " East Church and State Streets.

42 " East Water and State Streets.

43 " East Water and Lake Streets.

45 " East Water and High Streets.

46 " John and Orchard Streets.

47 " East Church and Sullivan Streets.

51 " East Chemung Place and Caldwell Ave.

52 " Spaulding St. and Caldwell Avenue.

53 " South Main and Henry Streets.

54 " South Main St. and Penn'a Avenue.

56 " South Broadway and Fulton Street.

57 " " " " Mount Zoar St.

61 " West Clinton and Davis Streets.

62 " " " " Grove Streets.

63 " " Sixth " Davis Streets.

64 " " Washington Ave. and Walnut St.

65 " Walnut and Ivy Streets.

67 " College Avenue and Broadway.

71 " East Fifth and Baldwin Streets.

72 " Lake and Harper Streets.

73 " Day and Oak Streets.

74 " Hall and Division Streets.

The nearest locations of Keys to the alarm boxes are indicated on the plates fastened to the poles over each box.


The number of the box signalling the fire, will be shown upon each indicator in the Engine House and Police Head-quarters, and the tower bell will strike the number of the box. For example: To announce an alarm from box thirty-four the bell will be struck three times and after a pause of five seconds, will be struck four times--thus : III--IIII==34. The number of the box will be repeated four times.

Official Directions to Holders of Keys to Fire Alarm Boxes.

Key holders intending to change their places of residence are requested to notify the officers of their intention. Under no circumstances will key holders transfer their keys to other parties or other locations.

To Give an Alarm.

Never give an alarm from any box for a fire seen at a distance. Give alarm only from the box nearest the fire. Upon positive information of a fire near your signal box, unlock the door, pull the lever all the way down once only and then let it go. You will hear a ticking in the box which will satisfy you the alarm has been sent in. Do not pull the lever if you hear the fire bell ringing or the ticking in the box, as that indicates an alarm has already been sent. Be particular to remain at the box until the arrival of an officer of the Department, who will release the key. If circumstances will not permit remaining, then the proper officer will return the key to the holder as soon as convenient.




1. N. E. corner Water and Railroad Avenue.

2. South side of Water st., bet Railroad Ave. and Main street.

3. N. E. corner Water and Main sts.

4. N. E. " Water st. and College Ave.

5. S. E. " Water st. and College Ave.

6. N. E. " Water and Columbia sts.

7. N. W. " Water and Davis sts.

8. N. W. " Water and Elm sts.

9. N. W. " Water and Walnut sts.

10. N. W. " Water and Grove sts.

11. N. W. " Water and Hoffman sts.

12. North side of Water, bet. Hoffman st. and Foster Ave.

13. N. W. corner Water st. and Foster Ave.

14. N. E. " Water st. and Randall Ave.

15. S. E. " Market st. and Railroad Ave.

16. N. E. " Gray and Main sts.

17. N. W. " Gray and Columbia sts.

18. N. W. " Gray and Davis sts.

19. N. E. " Gray and Elm sts.

20. N. E. " Gray and Walnut sts.

21. S. W. " Church and Grove sts.

22. S. E. " Hoffman and Gray sts.

23. S. E. " Hoffman and Church sts.

24. N. W. " Railroad Ave. and First sts.

25. N. E. " Gray and Grove sts.




1. N. W. corner Railroad Ave. and Church st.

2. N. W. " Railroad Ave. and Second st.

3. N. E. " Railroad Ave. and Third st.

4. S. W. " Railroad Ave. and Clinton st.

5. S. W. " Railroad Ave. and Fifth st.

6. S. E. " Railroad Ave. and First sts.

7. N. E. " Main and Second sts.

8. Junction of Main st. and Park Place.

9. N. W. corner Main st and Clinton sts.

10. S. E. " Main and Seventh sts.

11. S. W. " Main st. and Washington Ave.

12. N. W. " Park Place and Fourth st.

13. N. E. " Park Place and Fifth st.

14. East front of Blast Furnace.

15. N. E. corner College Ave. and Park Place

16. N. E. " College Ave. and Broadway

17. S. W. " Washington Ave. and Canal

18. West side Canal st. opposite "Merchant's" Roll Mill.

19. South of Fifth, near Canal st.

20. South side of Clinton, west of State st.

21. N. W. corner Hatch and Seventh sts.

22. N. W. " Church and State sts.


1. N. W. Corner Second and State sts.

2. Foot of Church st.

3. N. W. corner Jay and High sts.

4. S. W. " High and Clinton sts.

5. N. W. " Judson and Church sts.

6. N. W. " Church and Baldwin sts.



7. N. E. corner Church and Lake sts.

8. N. W. " Church and William sts.

9. N. E. " Church st. and Madison Ave.

10. N. W. " Church and High sts.

11. N. E. " Church and Washington sts.

12. N. W. " Church and Sullivan sts.

13. S. W. " Third st. and Madison Ave.

14. S. W. " Clinton st. and Clinton Place.

15. N. E. " Clinton and Oaks sts.

16. South side Clinton st., bet Oak and Sullivan sts.

17. N. W. corner Second and Baldwin sts.

18. S. W. " Second and Lake sts.

19. S. W. " Second and William sts.

20. S. E. " Second and Sullivan sts.

21. S. W. " Third and Lake sts.

22. N. W. " Third and William sts.

23. N. W. " Jay and Sullivan sts.

24. Junction East Union and Lake sts.

25. S. W. corner Clinton and Baldwin.

26. S. W. " Clinton and William sts.

27. North side of Clinton, foot of High st.

28. S. W. side of Sullivan, North of Clinton st.

29. N. E. corner Fourth and Baldwin sts.

30. Junction of Lake and William sts

31. S. W. corner Fifth st. and Madison Ave.

32. N. W. " High and Church sts.


1. N. E. corner Water and State sts.

2. N. W. " Water st. and Exchange Place

3. N. E. " Water and Baldwin sts.

4. North side of Water st. bet Baldwin and Lake streets.



5. N. E. corner Water and Lake sts.

6. North side Water st. bet Lake and Fox sts.

7. N. E. corner Water st. and Madison Ave.

8. N.E " Water and High sts.

9. N.E. '' Water and Washington sts.

10 N.E. '' Water and Orchard sts.

11. N.E. '' Water and Sullivan sts.

12. West side Lake st. bet Water and Carroll sts.

13. N. E. corner John st. and Madison Ave.

14. S. E. " State and Market sts.

15. S. W. " Madison Ave. and Second st.

16. S. E. " Dewitt and Second sts.

17. S. W. " High and Second sts.

18. S. W. " John and Washington sts.

19. N. W. " John and Sullivan sts.

20. N. E. " Carroll and Baldwin sts.

21. N. W. " Carroll and Lake sts.

22. N. W. " Carroll and Fox sts.

23. N. W. " Carroll st. and Madison Ave.

24. N. W. " Market and Baldwin sts.

25. N. E. " Market and Lake sts.

26. N. W. " Market and William sts.

27. N. W. " Market st. and Madison Ave.

28. N. W. " Market and High sts.

29. N. E. " Market and Gregg sts.

30. S. E. " Market and Washington sts.

31. N. W. " Market and Sullivan sts.


1. N. W. corner Chemung Place and Penna Ave.

2. N. E. " Chemung Place and Railroad Ave.

3. N. E. " Chemung Place and S. Main sts.


4. S. W. corner Hudson st. and Pennsylvania Ave.

5. N. W. " Hudson and South Main sts.

6. N. W. " Hudson and Fulton sts.

7. N. W. " Henry and South Main sts.

8. N. W. " Elm and South Main sts.

9. N. W. " Mt. Zoar and South Main sts.

10. Junction Pennsylvania Ave. and South Main st.

11. " Fulton st. and Broadway.

12. " Balsam st. and Broadway.

13. " Franklin st. and Pennsylvania Ave.

14. N. E. corner Franklin and Fulton sts.

15. N. E. " Franklin and Herrick sts.

16. N. E. " Franklin and Jefferson sts.

17. N. W. " Franklin and Balsam sts.

18. Junction Franklin st and Broadway.

19. Maple Ave. on city limits, ( at present not paid by city )

20. N. W. corner Ann and Sly sts.

21. N. E. side Maple Ave. foot Lormore st.

22. N. E. " Maple Ave. foot Caldwell Ave.

23. N. W. corner Henry st. and Pennsylvania Ave.

24. N. W. " Partridge st. and Penna Ave.

25. S. W. " Spaulding and Lormore sts.

26. S. W. " Spaulding st and Caldwell Ave.

27. S. W. " Spaulding and Horner sts.

28. N. E. " Mt. Zoar st. and Penna. Ave.

29. S. E. " Hudson and Harmon sts.

30. S. E. " Hudson and Fulton sts.

32. S. E. " Hudson and Chestnut sts.

33. N. E. " Hudson and Hine sts.

34. North side Hudson opposite Gardiner st.



1. N. W. corner Church st. and College Ave.

2. N. W. " Church and Columbia sts.

3. N. W. " Church and Davis sts.

4. N. W. " Church and Elm sts.

5. N. E. " Church and Walnut sts.

6. S. E. " Walnut and Second sts.

7. N. E. " Walnut and Clinton sts.

8. N. E. " Walnut and Fifth sts.

9. N. W. " College Ave. and Second st.

10. S. W. " College Ave. and Clinton st.

11. N. W. " College Ave. and Fourth st.

12. N. W. " College Ave. and Fifth st.

13. N. W. " College Ave. and Sixth st.

14. N. W. " College and Washington Aves.

15. N. W. " Fourth and Columbia sts.

16. S. W. " Fourth and Davis sts.

17. South side Fourth st. bet Davis and Walnut sts.

18. S. E. corner Fourth and Walnut sts.

19. North side Washington Ave. front School No. 5.

20. N. E. corner Davis and Seventh sts.

21. N. E. " Washington Ave. and Walnut st.

22. S. W. " Clinton and Columbia sts.

23. S. E. " Clinton and Davis sts.

24. N. W. " Davis and First sts.

25. N. W. " Davis and Second sts.

26. S. W. " Davis and Third sts.

27. S. E. " Washington Ave. and Hoffman st.

28. S. E. " Walnut and Park sts.

29. S. E. " Walnut st. and Roe Ave.

30. S. E. " Walnut st. and Ivy sts. ( to be chag'd )

31. N. E. " Walnut and Hart sts.

32. N. E. " College and Roe Aves.

33. N. E. " First and Grove sts.


34. N. W. corner First st. and Euclid Ave.

36. N. E. " First and Hoffman sts.


1. N. W. corner Hathaway and Lake sts.

2. N. E. " Baldwin and Fifth sts.

3. N. W. " Lake st. and Washington Ave.

4. N. W. " Lake st. and Maxwell Place.

5. N. W. " Hall st. and Crescent Ave.

6. S. W. " Hall and Division sts.

7. S. W. " Hall and Center sts.

8. West side Lake st. front street car stables.

9. N. W. corner Oak st. and Maxwell Place.

10. West side Oak st. opposite Day st.

11. N. E. corner Benton and Center sts.

12. N. W. " Lake and Center sts.

13. N. W. " Maxwell Ave. and Center st.

14. N. E. " Baldwin and Center sts.

15. S. W. " Lake and Norton sts.


1. Frasier House, corner Railroad Ave. and Third st.

2. H. C. Spaulding's corner Canal and Fifth st.

3. Wyckoff Block ( in rear ), cor. Railroad Ave. and Water st.

4. A. Wyckoff, Railroad Ave. bet Water and Market sts.

5. F. G. Hall, mills, South Broadway.



Inventory City Property.


Nine hundred and fifty feet of rope.

One large vice.

One monkey wrench.

One hammer.

Two hose expanders.

One-half barrel oil.

One hose oiler.


One double wagon.

One single wagon.

One supply wagon.

Fifteen tons steamer coal.

Two cords wood.


Tower Keeper.


Twenty-four pillow cases.

Sixteen towels.

Six spanners.

Thirty-five pairs gloves.

Twenty-nine pieces crape.

One Assistant Engineer's belt and hat.

One safe.

One expense book.

One pay roll book.

One desk.

One hundred envelopes.



Four hundred and seventy-five sheets writing paper

Two bedsteads.

Two sets springs.

One mattress.

Four pillows.

Four sheets.

Four quilts.

Two spreads.

Twenty-five yards floor matting.

Seven brooms.

Twenty bars soap.

Sixteen lengths stove pipe.

Four elbows.

Two stoves.

Two trumpets.

One stove zinc.

One table.

One-half dozen cane seated chairs.

Two office chairs.

Respectfully yours,


Chief Engineer



ELMIRA, N. Y., Feb 1, 1885.

To the Honorable Board of Fire Commissioners of the City of Elmira :

GENTLEMEN :--- Your Superintendent of Fire Alarms would respectfully submit the following report, giving a correct list of all property under his charge.

Our system is the Gamewell Patents, and was placed in our city in October 1884, and up to the present time have had twenty-nine alarms, in each case the system working with the greatest of satisfaction.

Owing to the short time we have used this system, I am unable to give a more extended report.

Respectfully Yours,




Elmira Fire Department Pumper at Elmira Advertiser Fire in 1888


No. 1. Circuit,  75 Poles,  5 3/4 Miles Wire.
2 36 4 3/4
3 43 4 1/4
4 9 2 1/2
Total 163 Poles 17 ¼ Miles of Wire

One Striker.

Sixty Battery Jars, in use.

Forty-one Cells.

Forty Coppers.

Thirty-seven Zincs.

One Repeater.

One Switch Board.

Five Galvanometers.

One-half Bbl. Vitriol.

One Dustpan.

One Sieve.

One three 3 qt. Can.

One Hand Saw.

One Hatchet.

One Tree Trimmer.

One Vise and Strap.

One Lamp.

One Pr. Spurs.

One Bench.



One and one-half Miles extra Wire.

One Pair Pliers.

One Battery Syringe.

One File.

Two Screwdrivers.

Five hundred feet Kerite Wire.

One hundred " Office "

Five Indicators.

One Weight Case.

One Key Record Book.


ELMIRA, Feb 1, 1885.

R. H. WALKER, Chief Engineer :

Dear Sir : --- I have the honor of submitting to you my report, an inventory of all city property under my charge. Respectfully Yours,


Foreman, Engine and Hose Co. No. 1.

I inserted one table - Table - Insert Table - 12 rows, 6 columns

F. H. Pelham 34 Foreman, at call
Carpenter 813 West Church St.
G. A. Gerrow 48 Engineer, at call Machinist 503 Park Place
M. Lockwood 35 Hoseman, at call
Costumer 632 William St.
R. Dempsey 29 Hoseman, at call
Engineer 367 Railroad Ave.
J. F. Dempsey 27 Hoseman, at call
Teamster 369 Railroad Ave.
J. Mead 39 Hoseman, at call
Shoemaker 402 West Church St.
J. Fay 24 Hoseman, at call
Bartender 710 Hatch St.
G. Surganty 20 Hoseman, at call
Machinist 433 East Water St.
E. Smith 39 Driver per’mn’t May 1, 1878 Baker 715 West Water St.
J. Fowler
Driver per’mn’t May 1, 1878 Machinist 129 West Water St.


One second class Amoskeag Engine, complete.

One third " " " "

One two-wheeled " Hose cart, "

One team gray horses.

One bay horse, bad condition.

One set double harness

One set light "



One single harness.

Three horse blankets.

One pitchfork.

Two water pails.

Two curry combs.

Two horse brushes.

Two whips.

Two sponges.

Two stable brooms.

One shovel.

One patent horse starter.

One engine heater.

One patent engine lighter.

One jack screw.

One bench vise.

Three hydrant wrenches.

One Siamese coupling.

Three hose pipes.

Three ladder straps.

Ten fire hats.

Four hose busters.

Six spanners.

One sprinkler.

Two stoves and pipe.

One galvanized ash barrel.

One coal scuttle..

One roll case.

One company record.

Two clocks.

One clock shelf.

Four spittoons.

Eight window shades.

One towell roller.

Nine chairs.



One mirror.

Eight iron bedsteads.

One wood "

Nine sets bed springs.

Nine straw ticks

Nine pillows.

Two sets pillow cases.

Two sets sheets.

One set pillow shams.

One set bed spreads.

Four pieces floor matting.

Three floor mats.

One mop.

One dustpan.

One show shovel.

Three bolsters.

Ten gray blankets.

Ten gov't "

Ten comfortables.

Two towels.


ELMIRA, February 1, 1885

R. H. WALKER, Chief Engineer :

Dear Sir : --I herewith submit to you the annual report and inventory of Steamer and Hose Company No. 2, for the year ending February 1, 1885.

Respectfully yours,


Foreman Steamer and Hose Co. No. 2.


C. H. Riggs Carpenter 33 4th 504 East Church street
E. Reddington …………… 27 4th 505 Market street
Jerry Kane Cigar maker 27 4th 63 Washington street
L. Caldwell ………… 37 5th 117 Catharine street
Robert McCaffery Cigar Manufacturer 26 6th First street
P. Burns Cigar Maker 29 3d 458 High street
Chas. Auten Laborer 29 3d 608 Third street
T. E. LaFrance Watchmaker 25 4th 507 East Water street
S. Kelly Teamster 35 2d 806 Magee street
James Clark Teamster 40 4th Engine House


Three horses

One fourth class LaFrance engine, complete.

One second " " " "

One hose cart.

One double hanging harness.

One double harness, ( old and in bad condition .)

One single harness.

Three heavy horse blankets.

Two light " "

Two pitchforks.

Two brooms.

One curry comb and brush.

One large shovel.

One tire "

Fifty feet small rubber hose.

One gallon oil can.

One two gallon oil can.

Two pails.

One sprinkler.

One engine heater.

Two stoves.

One extra pair whiffletrees.

Three iron hose spanners.

Two ladder straps.

Three hose busters.

One coal scuttle.

Two gongs.



One looking glass.

One call bell.

One bench vice.

One axe.

Three lanterns.

Ten single iron bedsteads.

Ten straw ticks.

Twenty sheets.

Ten pillow and cases.

Nine counterpanes.

Twelve comfortables.

Ten double blankets.

Five single "

Ten chairs.

One floor mat.

Twelve window shades.

Eight strips floor matting.

One table.

Two clocks.


ELMIRA, February 1st, 1885

ROBERT H. WALKER, Chief Engineer

Elmira Fire Department :

Dear Sir:--- I herewith submit to you the annual report and inventory of Hook and Ladder Company No. 1, for the year ending February 1, 1885.

Respectfully yours,


Foreman Truck Company No. 1.


D. H. Kinney Shoemaker 400 Powell Street
C. H. Bentley Cabinet Maker 319 Carroll Street
E. S. Booth Carpenter 852 Magee Street
F. H. Ingersoll Saw Maker 322 West Gray Street
W. B. Reynolds Edge tool maker 504 East Church Street
James Creelman Shoemaker 261 West Hudson Street
Edward Noble Printer 312 West Hudson Street
G. W. Peckham Machinist 317 Carroll Street
Tho’s Feeney

One Hays Patent Extension Ladder Truck, carrying a sixty-five foot extension ladder.

One twenty-eight foot ladder.

One twenty-six foot ladder.

One twenty-three foot ladder.

One twenty foot ladder.

One eighteen foot ladder.

One fifteen foot ladder.

One twelve foot scaling ladder.

Four axes.

Two crowbars.

Two shingle picks.

Nine pike poles.

One hundred and thirty feet one-half inch rope.

Two hundred feet three-fourth inch rope, in two pieces.

Seven white lanterns.

One red lantern.

Four rubber buckets.

One wire cutter.

Four wheel blocks.

One monkey wrench.

One oil can.

One grappling chain. The above in good condition and carried on Truck.

One fifty-five foot extension ladder.

One grappling hook with fifteen feet chain.

Sixty-two feet chain.



Fifty-five feet two inch rope.

Thirty feet one inch rope.

Five iron stakes.

Five grab hook chains for old extension ladder.

Two stoves.

One table.

Eight wardrobes.

One sprinkler.

One broom.

Three brooms, carried on truck.

One sponge.

Three pounds waste.

One looking glass.

Six chairs ( old, nearly worthless. )

One five gallon oil tank.

Two gallons oil.

One two quart oil can.

One hard wood pail.

Four lanterns, ( old, not in use. )

One fire alarm indicator, Gamewell system.

One fire alarm gong, ( not used )

Two floor mats.

Six bed ticks, ( in fair condition. )

One bed tick, ( old, bad condition. )

Twenty-four sheets.

Eighteen pillow slips.

Eight light gray blankets.

Three double gray blankets.

Two single gray blankets.

Ten bed comfortables.

Six bed spreads.

Five cotton pillows.

Three sponge pillows.

Two feather pillows.



Eight iron beds.

Two towels.

Twelve pounds soda,- for extinguishers.

Fifty-five bottles acid,-for extinguishers.

Four Babcock Extinguishers, on truck.

One set bob sleighs.

One double set harness ( old. )



Month of April $786.25
Month of May $844.29
Month of June $846.53
Month of July $864.17
Month of August $846.53
Month of September $875.38
Month of October $898.94
Month of November $884.30
Month of December $888.19
Month of January, 1885 $879.53


For quarter ending Feb’y 6 $2225.00
" " " May 7 2237.00
" " " Aug. 1  2250.00
" " " Nov. 7  2412.50
" " " $9125.00



With the additional hydrants added, the water tax will, the coming year, amount to about eleven thousand dollars.

Month of April. $ 192.83
May 269.97
June 527.39
July 114.43
August 56.16
September 267.28
October 222.91
November 163.17
December 182.78
January 1885 145.17

Month of April $390.98
June 83.60
July 14.92
August 1.85
September 13.45
October 26.10
November 143.00
December 77.60
January 1885 34.20



Month of April $202.16
May 184.55
June 263.02
July 86.26
August 38.77
September 119.01
October 132.32
November 65.38
December 55.30
January 1885 5.73



For manure sold, . . . . . . .$31.00

Old suction sold, . . . . . . . 1.55

Old iron sold, . . . . . . . 2.88

Old sheets sold, . . . . . . . 6.00


March 22 3d Ward 2:55 a.m. ___ Gondoll East Second street Incendiary $500.00 $388.40
March 22 3d " 2:20 p.m. J. Shaw East Union street Matches on bed ………. ………
April 10 5th " 5:30 a.m. Mrs. E. Coykendall South Main street Incendiary $600.00 $600.00
April 10 5th 5:30 " Mrs. E. Coykendall South Main street Incendiary ……….
April 10 5th " 5:30 " Michael Casey South Main street From Coykendall building ………
April 10 3d " 9:30 " Mrs. Roemellt Clinton street Incendiary $25.00
April 10 3d " 9:30 " J. J. O’Connor Clinton street Incendiary $86.67
April 16 5th " 1:30 " Palmer & Decker Pennsylvania Avenue Sparks in shed $745.44
April 17 2d " 10:30 p.m. P. C. Fellows North Main street Incendiary $60.00
April 18 7th " 9:30 " Knapp Shappee Maxwell Avenue Incendiary ……….
April 19 6th " 11:15 a.m. Wood Demorest 355 Davis Street Matches in pocket ………
April 26 4th " 3:15 p.m. Mrs. Breman East Water street Rags in rear shop $125.00
April 26 4th " 3:15 " John O’Brien East Water street Caused by above …….
April 26 4th " 3:15 " M. H. Arnot East Water street Caused by above ………
May 05 5th " 2:50 a.m. L.M. Smith Hudson and Pennsylvania Ave Chimney ………
May 05 5th " 2:50 " Mrs. E.S. Farrington Hudson and Pennsylvania Ave Caused by above ………
May 08 4th " 8:15 p.m. I.B. Coleman Market street Wood top of boiler ……..
May 14 2d " 8:45 " S.X. Metzger & Son Second and Railroad Avenue Gas burner $26,125.00
May 14 2d " 8:45 " Reynolds Estate Second and Railroad Avenue Gas burner $834.00
May 21 2d " 12 a.m. Rolling Mill Company …….. Oil room etc $76.96
May ? 3d " 9:45 p.m. George O’Hanlon Perry street Stove $36.04
May 27 6th " No. alarm J. Sloat Fassett West Church and Walnut streets Gas burner $200.00
June 17 7th " 12:20 p.m. George Francis Standish street Boiler room $285.00
June 17 7th " 12:20 " Estate John Arnot Madison Avenue …….. $8.75
June 17 7th " 12:20 " Charles Sickles Standish street Boiler room $534.48
June 17 4th " 12:20 " Horton Tidd Standish street Boiler room $250.00
June 22 4th " 12:30 " Rathbun House Nicks’ Lane Gas Explosion $1,000.00
June 27 7th 9 a.m. ___ Bagleys Washington Avenue Unknown …….
July 03 4th 9:15 " Abram Krowl Orchard street Pipe in partition $215.54
July 12 1st " 10:05 p.m. J.M. Roe Railroad Avenue Stove $191.21
July 12 1st " 10:05 " E.P. Lewis Railroad Avenue Stove $425.00
July 12 1st " 10:05 " Costello & Neagle Railroad Avenue …… $69.75
July 27 2d " 12:30 " Mrs. Bowland East Second street Chimney …..
July 31 2d " 11:40 a.m. C.S. Learys East Second street Chimney $102.85
August 04 5th " 12:10 " Charles Allen East Henry street Lamp in closets ……….
………. 5th " P.m. S.X. Metzger & Son Packing house, outside limits …….. $395.18
Sept. 1 1st " 8:30 a.m. ___ Palmers West Water street Oil in paint shop ……..


Sept. 4 5thWard 1:30 a.m. (Frame House) Near Gerber’s Brew’y, out of limit …….. …….. ……..
Sept. 8 5th " 8:30 p.m. Frank Hall, mill Broadway Incendiary …….. ………
Sept. 8 5th " 8:30 " Mrs. Olive Bacon Broadway Incendiary $500.00 $30.00
Sept. 10 5th " 4 a.m. Mrs. Coykendall, store South Main street Unknown $1,000.00 $55.62
Sept. 10 5th " 4 " Elsie M. Post building South Main street Unknown $800.00 $300.00
Sept. 15 7th " 10:30 p.m. Knapp Shappee ….. Unknown …….. ……….
Sept. 15 7th " 10:30 S. T. Arnot ……… Unknown $200.00 $175.00
Sept. 15 7th " 12:20 " Mary E. Doan, barn Benton street Unknown ……… ……..
Sept. 22 3d " 5:15 " Hiram T. Smith Lake and Clinton streets Chimney ………….. $390.00
Sept. 25 4th " 1:45 a.m. Kane & Williman, Cigar Factory East Water street Incendiary $400.00 $269.78
October 12 Box 56 1:30 " John Dahoney South Main street (barn) Incendiary $325.00 $322.00
October 12 Box 56 1:30 " Andrew McNamee South Main street Stove ……….. ………..
October 13 Box 72 6:10 " Henry Redner Hathaway street Stove $500.00 $500.00
October 13 Box 72 10:30 " Henry Redner Hathaway street Stove $250.00 $170.00
October 18 Box 36 2:30 p.m. George W. Dense, barn Tuttle Avenue Boys playing in leaves ……… ……….
October 20 Box 35 8:30 " Joseph Carrier Lake street, (barn) Unknown $600.00 $22.00
October 27 Box 35 8:30 " M. Kaczmarowski, shoe shop Clinton street Chimney ………. $715.00
October 27 Box 56  8:45 " M. Galivan Fulton street Chimney $800.00 $510.00
October 28 Box 17 8:10 " Humphrey Mosher Hoffman street Lamp $500.00 $500.00
October 28 Box 17 8:30 " Ed Warner Hoffman street Lamp ………. ………..
October 29 Box 41 3:30 " …………… Jones’ Lane Chimney ………. ……….
Nov. 1 Box 21 8:30 " ……… Erie Railroad yard Sparks ………… ………..
Nov. 8 Box 45 11:30 a.m. ………… John street (cellar) Leaves ………… ………..
Nov. 11 Box 21 8 p.m. L.V.R.R., tin shop State street Stove ……….. ……….
Nov. 11 Box 35 8:45 " L.V.R.R, oil room State street ……. $1,400.00 $482.30
Nov. 13 Box 73 11:30 a.m. Peter McMartin Oak street Matches in closet ……… $403.89
Nov. 15 Box 67 3:50 p.m. Capt. Pat Flanigan Park street Incendiary $2,500.00 $39.75
Nov. 15 Still alarm ……….. Daniel Murphy Main and Clinton streets Matches in clothes $1,000.00 $11.30
Nov. 20 Box 56 10:30 a.m. C. Kenyon West Hudson street Stove pipe ………. ……..
Nov. 28 Box 35 5:30 p.m. J. Hawkins Baldwin street ………. ………….. …………..
Dec. 3 Box 4 7:10 a.m. Riggs & Hershey Madison Avenue Boiler room Out of limits …………
Dec. 4 Box 4 5:30 " New York State Reformatory West Hill Unknown ……….. ………….
Dec. 6 Box 57 9:30 p.m. E.C. Biggs Coburn street Stove in barn $3,000.00 $2,555.42
Dec. 7 Box 25 7:15 " Supt. Meade Park Place Furnace ……….. ………..
Dec. 10 Box 64 5 a.m. Thomas Broder Walnut street Incendiary $1,500.00 $22.00
Dec. 14 Box 56 6:15 p.m. Mrs. Nettie Sherman Harmon street Curtains …………. ………….
Dec. 15 Box 4 8 " ____ Rawson Market street Matches on floor $4,500.00 $2,473.75
Dec. 23 Box 13 E.B. Smith West Church street Oil can in shed Out of limits …….. ………..
Dec. 26 Box 25 7:30 a.m. Standard Oil Company West Junction  Explosion ………….. …………
Jan. 20 Box 41 3:40 " Durland & Barton East Church street ……….. ……….. ………….
Jan. 28 Box 56 7:45 p.m. ____ Carman Partridge street Stove tipped over $5,000.00 $2,885.00
Jan. 30 Box 51 12:50 " Mary E. Locke Maple Avenue Thawing water pipe

In addition to the above there were five still alarms reported with losses very light.

Chemung County NY

Published On Tri-Counties Site On 22 OCT 2004
By Joyce M. Tice

You are our welcome visitor since the counter was installed on 22 OCT 2004