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Register of the Stockton Fire Department Precursor Records, 1856-1905
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Collection Overview
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This collection includes corrrespondence, financial and legal documents and miscellaneous papers of the Stockton Fire Department, 1856-1887 (headquarter unit)and from five divisions: Eureka Fire Company, 1856-1905; San Joaquin Fire Company, 1856-1887; Weber Fire Company, 1875-1886; Protection Hook and Ladder Company, 1880-1887; and Exempt Firefighters Company, 1903-1905.
The formation of the Weber Bucket Brigade began organized volunteer fire protection in Stockton before a city government was established. Stockton's first big fire (December 23, 1849) destroyed the entire business district and demonstrated the need for both fire and police protection. The result was the establishment (June 26, 1850) of the Weber Engine Company and the authorization to purchase Stockton's first small hand engine. After a second major fire (May 5, 1851) the City Council approved the purchase of a new engine and the organization of the Protection Hook and Ladder Company (November 15, 1851). Two years later (June 2, 1853), the Eureka Company was formed. Competition between the Weber and Eureka Companies led to them being reorganized into one department (February 7, 1854) under the control of a single chief. The San Joaquin Company was established the following month (March 4, 1854). Later that same year a new engine was added.
Collection is open for research.