An Early Fire Company

Author: Unknown

Publication Date: 1963


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 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:

First Lieutenant – Peter Dudgeon
Second Lieutenant – Robert Henderson
Engineer – Harry Burton
Assistant Engineer – Robert Higham
First Branchman – Albert Robertson
Second Branchman – Henry Hallett
First Assistant Branchman – Joseph Crowe
Second Assistant Branchman – John Higham
Two days after the Company was formed, the men took the fire engineer 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.