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Franklin Hook and Ladder Company No. 1 Records, 1832-1908, undated

Identifier: MSS 285

Scope and Content Note

The Franklin Hook and Ladder Company No. 1 records record the activities of this Salem, Massachusetts, organization from 1832 to 1908. The collection is divided into three series.

Series I. Record Books documents the minutes of regular and special meetings, constitution and bylaws, lists of members and equipment, and reports of social activities. Some loose blank forms and other miscellaneous papers have been removed from Record Book Volume 4 and placed in B1 F5.

Series II. Alarm Books includes reports of fires and their causes, fines to members for being absent from fires and meetings, and some newspaper accounts of fires, which have been pasted into the books. Alarm Book Volume 1 also includes records of meetings. Newspaper clipping have been removed from Alarm Book Volume 2 to B2 F3. Series III. Treasurer's Books includes expenses of the organization and fines and assessments to members. Volume 2 records cash received from the City of Salem and payments to members. Material removed from Volume 2 consists of invoices, receipts, attendance sheets, and payroll lists, which have been place in B2 F6.


  • Creation: 1832-1908, undated


Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.

Historical Sketch

The Franklin Hook and Ladder Company No. 1 was founded at a meeting held at the Salem Town Hall in September 1832 for the stated purpose of "benefitting our fellow citizens." Twenty members subscribed and officers consisting of a Foreman, First Assistant, Second Assistant, Secretary, and Treasurer were chosen. John Kinsman was the first Foreman of the organization. A constitution was written including 17 articles. The company was to consist of not more than 25 members. Members absent from meetings were fined.

Early equipment was a carriage, probably transported to fires by manpower.

A meeting was held on April 1, 1867 at which bylaws were adopted. Officers, including a Director, Assistant Director, Clerk, and a standing committee were to be elected at the annual meeting. On December 3, 1873, a revised constitution and bylaws were adopted by members.

Many social activities were enjoyed by the club, such as dances, suppers, excursions, fairs, and parades. Playing cards were a popular item purchased for the club. In 1881 funds began to be received from the City of Salem to pay firefighters. At a meeting on August 20, 1895, an agreement was reached to turn over the records of the company to the City Clerk.

On October 3, 1895, Hook and Ladder No. 1 became Hook and Ladder No. 2 under Captain A. W. Ober, and Hook and Ladder No. 1 was placed under E. C. Lee. Subsequent records in the collection are for Hook and Ladder No. 1 George L. Goss was elected Foreman on May 11, 1896.

The Salem City Directory for 1897-1898 shows Hook and Ladder No. 1 and No. 2 at Bridge Street. As of 1901, Hook and Ladder No. 1 was located at Essex Street opposite Boston, and Hook and Ladder No. 2 was at 178 Bridge Street.


1 linear foot (2 boxes)

Language of Materials



The Franklin Hook and Ladder Company No. 1 records record the activities of this Salem, Massachusetts, organization from 1832 to 1908.

Series List

SERIES I. Record Books

SERIES II. Alarm Books

SERIES III. Treasurer's Books

Physical Location

Phillips Library Stacks


This material was donated by Howard C. Kimball on April 8, 1927.


Sampson, Murdock, & Co., comp. Salem Directory. Vol. XXII. Salem, Mass.: Sampson, Murdock, 1886. pp 415.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Marion Clark, July 1996. Updated by Tamara Gaydos, December 2015.

Processed by: Marion Clark; Updated by: Tamara Gaydos; machine-readable finding aid created by: Rajkumar Natarajan.
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Phillips Library Repository

Peabody Essex Museum
306 Newburyport Turnpike
Rowley MA 01969 USA