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Notable Fires:

Sacramento Conflagration
San Francisco’s First Response of Mutual Aid?
July 13, 1854


1854 July 14

The telegraph announced to us at an early hour yesterday afternoon, that the firemen of the bay city, deeply sympathizing with our (Sacramento) misfortunes, had determined to send a portion of their gallant spirits to the rescue. Accordingly, at 3 1/2 p. m., the splendid company of the Monumentals, with their elegant machine, said to be the finest and most powerful in the State, left on the Wilson G. Hunt.

At a quarter to 11, the Hunt came steaming up to her wharf, and the visitors were greeted by our own firemen, down up on the Levee. On crossing the bridge which connects the hulk with the bank, the great weight of the Monumental engine caused the bridge to break with a tremendous crash, but before it fell through, the machine was jerked to the Levee by the sinewy arms of the gallant fellows who manned the ropes. After all were landed, the firemen of both cities fell into line and marched up K street into 2d, and arranged themselves in front of the Orleans Hotel, where our welcome guests were saluted by six hearty cheers, which were as heartily returned. The procession then moved into the spacious saloon of the hotel, where the festivities of the night commenced. Speeches were made, toasts were drank, cheers and "tigers" given and returned, and the night waned before the firemen separated.

We learn that the Monumentals were on parade when the news of the fire reached them, and as soon as they had signified their intention of leaving, the California Steam Navigation Company placed the Hunt gratuitously at their disposal.

There are 83 members of the Monumental Company, under command of Mr. G. H. Hossefross.

The following are the names of the other companies who accompanied the Monumentals::

Empire Company, No. 1. :
St. Francis Hook and Ladder, No. 1.
Manhattan, No. 2.
Howard, No. 3.
Knickerbocker, No. 5.
Volunteer, No. 7.
Vigilant, No. 9.
Pennsylvania No. 12.

An elegant banner, valued at $700, was presented yesterday by Mr. Hossefross, Foreman of the Monumentals, to his company. The presentation was made by Mr. Stillman, and received by Mr. R. H. Sinton. A splendid silver trumpet was then presented by the company, through Mr. Pixley, to Mr. Hossefross.

At the moment of the news of the fire being received, the Monumentals were entertaining their friends at their house, a collation which cost $1500 being set before their guests. The bell of the City Hall was tapped, which called together the firemen, and immediately thereafter the company and volunteers above mentioned started for the boat.


— The fire companies of this city are hereby notified to appear at the Orleans Hotel this morning at 10 o'clock, to receive their brother firemen of San Francisco, now sojourning in this city.
Source: Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 7, Number 1031, 14 July 1854 — Arrival of the Monumentals [ARTICLE]


1854 July 15

Upon the announcement by telegraph of the late disastrous fire at Sacramento, several of the fire companies of this city volunteered to depart to the assistance of. our sister city : but the prospect of the impossibility of reaching that place in time to render any effectual aid, together with the injudicious nature of such a step, in leaving this city with a reduced force, deterred many from going. The Monumental Engine Company, No. 6, however, under the command of Mr. Hossefross, their engineer, ran the engine to the steamboat wharf, and held themselves in readiness to respond to the call of the sufferers, when the Wilson G. Hunt having been placed at their disposal by the Steamboat Company, they, in connection with deputations from Companys (sic) No. 12, 9, 7, 5. 4, 3, 2, 1, and the St Francis Hook and Ladder Company, started far Sacramento. On the passage up the light of the fire was seen, but before reaching the city the conflagration had been checked, Upon reaching the landing, at about half past ten o'clock on Thursday night, they were met by Mayor Johnson, Judge Monson, and E. H. Stanley, Esq., on behalf of the citizens, and thanked for their kind intentions. The engine was taken ashore and, with the varicus (sic) companies attending the apparatus, escorted by a large body of citizens, proceeded to the Orleans Hotel, where the freedom of the city was tendered the San Francisco firemen, and several warm speeches made by Mayor Johnson, Judge Monson, and Mr. Hossefross. The engine was housed in the building of Sacramento Fire Company, No. 3. In the morning a turn out was made at 6 o'clock, and the power of the apparatus tried in front of Adams & Co.'s Banking House. A gallery stream was thrown 220 feet on the level, and two side streams a distance of 189 feet.

The Sacramento Fire Companies, in uniform, paraded with the San Francisco deputation, and at 11 1/2 o'clock the latter embarked on the Wilson G. Hunt, and amid the cheers and thanks of the Sacramentians, departed for the Bay, arriving at Vallejo street wharf about 8 o'clock last evening.

Companies Nos. 12, 9 and 3 received the returned firemen at the dock, and taking charge of the Monumental Engine, paraded, with music, through several of the principal streets, and finally housed the engine at their building on Brenham Place, where a fine collation was partaken of.
Source: Daily Alta California, Volume 5, Number 194, 15 July 1854 — San Francisco Firemen at Sacramento [ARTICLE]


1854 July 19

Through Wells, Fargo & Co.s Express.
— Charles Duane, Esq.. Chief Engineer of the San Francisco Fire Department, came up last night from that city with 780 feet of hose for the fire companies of this city, all that could be procured at this time. Mr. Duane deserves the thanks of our citizens for the promptness with which he has acted in this matter.
Source: Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 7, Number 1035, 19 July 1854 — Through Wells, Fargo & Co.s Express. [ARTICLE]


On Board Wilson G. Hunt,
July 14, 1854.
To Capt. Poole and Officers of steamboat Wilson G. Hunt:
Gentlemen: — In behalf of the members of Monumental Company, and members of different Companies attending them to and from Sacramento on your splendid boat, I thank you for your kind attentions and courtesies. There is nothing so calculated to render us contented with a life as friendship. It is the intermingling of kind and social feeling that endears us one to another. Our short passage with you, gentlemen, has added another bright leaf in our history. We shall ever remember, and often, in our social communions, recall the Wilson G. Hunt and her whole-souled officers. Respectfully, Geo. H. Hossefross.

On Board Wilson G. Hunt,
July 14, 1854
Mr. Geo. H. Hossefross, Foreman Monumental Engine Co. 6;
Dear Sir — I gratefully acknowledge the receipt of your note thanking muself and the other officers of the "Hunt," for courtesies extended to your company and the San Francisco firemen accompanying you. It affords me great pleasure to know that the trip you have so lately taken, with an intent as noble as any ever recorded, has been productive of many incidents of a gratifying nature to you, and it is a source of much happiness to me that you attribute some of those pleasures to those connected with the steamer which I command. I have noticed with unfeigned pride and satisfaction the good feeling and unanimity which has prevailed among the members of your Company and the other members of the Department ; a circumstance which speaks volumes for the character of those composing the Fire Department of the city of San Francisco. I trust that it may ever be so, and that your watchwards may be, peace, happiness and concord, one with the other. Truly yours,
E A. Poole
Source; Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 7, Number 1035, 19 July 1854 — Correspondence. [ARTICLE]

Extracted from original sources with grammar and spelling as published.

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