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El Dorado County Fire District *
Fire District History: Placerville
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Fire Engines of early Placerville

On the evening of June 23, 1853, the Neptune Hose Company No. 1 was formed and Mr. Frank Allerton undertook to build the first carriage, and the hose was ordered from San Francisco.

The great damages by the fire of the year 1856 had shown the citizens of Placerville that even the best organized fire company will be lost confronting a great fire without a fire engine; thereupon a meeting was held on the 13th of April, 1857, for the purpose of organizing an engine company and a committee of five were appointed to solicit subscriptions for the purchase. On May 22, 1857, at a meeting at Concert Hall, a committee was appointed to purchase an engine built by John Agnew of Philadelphia from Engine Co. No. 1 of Sacramento, together with 250 feet of hose, for the sum of $2,500.

A subscription was made up in January, 1858, towards purchasing an engine for the Neptune Hose Company No. 1, whose name was changed into Neptune Engine Company No. 2. A new fire engine was ordered from the celebrated manufacturing place of Messrs. Hunneman & Co., of Boston, which arrived by ship Hesperus, about the first of February at San Francisco. The engine bore the following inscriptions: "Neptune No. 2" " We're Ready", the motto of the company.

Confidence Engine Company No. 1 was reorganized on July 9, 1869 and had a new Jeffrey's Engine and continued to take an active part when called for any assistance.

In July 1922 a Packard fire truck with combination chemical and hose body was purchased for the fire department by the City at a cost of $5,883. The truck was stored at the Hirst Garage, the building between the Chevrolet Garage and the Associated Gas Station (circa 1953).

The minutes of a special meeting of the department held on June 23, 1924 stated that it was moved, seconded and carried that the department buy an Evinrude fire pump and motor for $358.00. The minutes of July 15, 1924 stated that it was moved, seconded and carried that the department buy for $450.00 from Mrs. A.P.T. Elder, a Locomoblile car as well as 1000 feet of hose for $257,40.

At the November 15, 1926 meeting, it was regularly moved and carried that the department send the Locomobile truck to Georgetown as soon as the Pierce truck was completed and ready for service. Prior to February 15, 1927, the Pierce Arrow Truck was put into service by the department.

On September 11, 1931, bids were opened by the City Council for the purchase of a fire truck. After considering the bids, the Council and the Department were unanimously in favor of the La France and form the minutes it appears that the La France was delivered prior to the meeting of October 15, 1931. This engine is still used today by the Placerville Volunteer Firefighter's Association for parades and other special functions.

In the first part of 1940 the Fabco truck was put in service and it replaced the Packard which was taken over by the City Street Department.

On February 28, 1950 the voters approved a $70,000 bond issue for the purchase of a lot, new fire truck and the erection of a fire house. On May 11, 1951 the new American La France fire truck arrived. This engine is also still used today by the Placerville Volunteer Firefighter's Association for parades and other special functions.

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