enter name and hit return
OPENING OF THE CORNER STONE OF AN ENGINE HOUSE..WASHINGTON NO. 1.
8 June 1878
Brooklyn Union Argus
WHAT WAS FOUND INSIDE AND WHAT WAS NOT--
SOMETHING ABOUT THE FIRST ENGINE COMPANY IN THE CITY
In the year 1850 an engine house was erected on Prospect st., near
Main, and at the laying of the corner stone there was quite a ceremony. For
the purpose of making way for the bridge approach the property was purchaed
by the Bridge Trustees, and understanding that the house was to be removed
Foreman Patrick LAHEY, of Engine No. 6, High st., applied to Hon. Henry C.
MURPHY, President of the Bridge, to have the corner stone and its contents
given to No.6, to preserve as relics of the department. Mr. MURPHY consented,
and 2 days ago the stone was carefully removed from the northeast corner and
handed to Mr. LAHEY.
Before proceeding further with the story of the corner stone it may
be stated that the company for which the engine house in question was built
was known as WASHINGTON NO. 1.
It was originally organized in 1785, and had its quarters at that
time on the opposite corner of this paper, on the spot now occupied by the
Brooklyn Bank. John DOUGHTY JR., was one of the chief spirits in forming the
company. STILES, in his history of Brooklyn, says "It was organized at a
meeting of the freeholders and inhabitrants, held at the dwelling of the
widow Margaret MOSER, who kept a house of entertainment in what is now Fulton
st., near the ferry. The following persons were appointed members of the
Henry STANTON, captain;
John DOUGHTY JR.,
J. VAN COTT,
and Martin WOODYEAR, all of whom were commissioned for 1 year. The meeting
also resolved to raise the sum of 150 pounds by tax, for the purpose of
procuring a fire-engine, and it was further enacted that the firemen should
regularly play, clean, and inspect the engine on the first Saturday in each
month, and that in case of non-attendence of any of the said firemen, upon
due notice given them by their captain, they should be fined 8 shillings, and
that the captain, for any neglect of duty in notifying the members, should
himself be fined 16 shillings."
When the engine house was built in Prospect st., there was a white
marble tablet let in the wall next to the street, with the date of
organization and date of the Fire Department Charter. This was removed by
Mark FAY when he purchased the building some 7 or 8 years ago, but in tearing
down the place the other day a large stone was removed on which was printed
"WASHINGTON No. 1" in gold letters.
To return to the corner-stone. When the cement which covered the
cavity was broken by Mr. LAHEY, he found that the tin box had been removed
and nothing remained in the hole but a small bronze calender, intended to be
worn on a watch-chain, and a 2 cent piece dated 1865. Mr. LAHEY informed the
reporter that the tin box originally contained several gold, silver, and
copper coins, a roll of the members at that time, the Brooklyn newspaper of
the day, and a small silver eagle. It is supposed that Mr. FAY removed the
stone and took away the box when he purchased the house. Mr. FAY has since
died. Mr. LAHEY and the other members of Engine NO. 6 regret very much the
loss of the articles, but they will preserve the stone, which is 12 inches by
8, and has the date 1850 in front.
RETURN to PEOPLE MAIN
RETURN to BROOKLYN MAIN