An Early Fire Company

Author: Unknown

Publication Date: 1963

Edited: 2021


A meeting of the employees of the Raymond and Osborne sewing machine shops, and Crowe’s Foundry was called on the evening of June 17, 1875, for the purpose of forming a volunteer fire company. Mr. William Wilkie was appointed Chairman, and B. Fairly as Secretary ProTem. It was moved by Mr. S.R. Moffatt, seconded by Mr. F. Curtis, and carried, that the employees of the above local industries form a company to be called the Guelph Volunteer Fire Company. Thus came into existence one of Guelph’s fire brigades. At the same meeting Archibald Riddell was appointed Captain of the company. The following
were voted by ballot:


Name Position
Peter Dudgeon First Lieutenant
Robert Henderson Second Lieutenant
Harry Burton Engineer
Robert Higham Assistant Engineer
Albert Robertson First Branchman
Henry Hallett Second Branchman
Joseph Crowe First Assistant Branchman
John Higham Second Assistant Branchman


Two days after the Company was formed, the men took the fire engine and hose to test them. The engine was taken to the dam of Presant’s Mill and, after some repairs were made, it was found to work fairly well. The hose, however, was useless, having split.

*The fire engine and hose had been purchased by the Town Council in May 1868. It was manufactured at the Silsby factory. The cost, including reels, hose, etc. amounted at that time to $5,638.68.