Wiilson MuseumCastine Scientific SocietyGo to Home page
Castine Scientific SocietyCastine Scientific Society Wilson Museum word spacer Visit the John Perkins House word spacer Visit the Blacksmith Shop end space
end spacer Cemetery Research word space Wilson Museum Bulletin word space Calendar of Events word space Treasures of the Past end spacer
spacer gif Wilson Museum Education spacer gif Membership spacer gif Shop

The Wilson Museum Bulletin
Hector Engine Company No. 3   |  "The Castine Conflagration"  |  Curator's Report


The Western School House, on Pleasant Street, was used to house the new Hunneman fire engine, "Hector 3," and its hose carriage.

The Western School House, on Pleasant Street, was used to house the
new Hunneman fire engine, ”Hector 3”, and its hose carriage.

The Castine Gazette, Nov. 12, 1872

The Hector No. 3 has arrived . . . It is a fine looking engine and we should judge is well made. It is a “squirrel-tail” of the Hunneman made of five inch cylinder. At the first trial it was found to work remarkably easy and to throw a good stream. No attempt has been made to test it owing to the poor condition of the hose. We need new hose at once. A committee was chosen at the last meeting of the Company to confer with the selectmen and we have no doubt but that we shall soon have the needed amount. The following are the Officers of Hector Engine Co. No. 3: Foreman, Wm. T. Hooper, First Assistant, E. S. Perkins, Second Assistant, Geo. L. Weeks, Clerk and Treasurer, Alfred Hooper, Steward, Frank Hooper and Standing Committee, Wm. T. Hooper, S.K. Whiting and G. A. Wheeler.

A sixteen-page pamphlet includes Board of Engineers, Officers and Members

A sixteen-page pamphlet includes Board of Engineers, Officers and Members

The Castine Gazette, Dec. 21, 1872

The fire in Castine . . . On Saturday. Nov. 30th, at twelve o'clock, noon, the Orthodox church in this village was discovered to be on fire, having taken in the cold air box of one of the furnaces. The wind was blowing a gale, - severely cold. The firemen and engines were soon on the ground but, the fire being in the ceiling of the east side and under the floor of the audience room, with the necessity of keeping the house closed as much as possible from the wind, about two and a half hours elapsed before the fire was extinguished. For an hour and a half there seemed little chance of saving the church; and had it burned, in the violent gale, probably the fire would have swept through the village, in the direction of the wind, taking both the other church buildings, the two school houses on the Common, and the Town House.

The wet carpet on the church floor checked the spreading of the fire in the audience room, so that the damage by fire was principally in the floor of that room and below it. But the whole building having been flooded, the damage to the frescoed walls and the paint by water and smoke, was serious. The church furniture, aside from the carpet, was removed with but little injury.

Rarely at a fire has there been manifested such an oppressive solemnity,- rarely if ever have firemen and citizens exerted themselves with more energy and constancy - rarely has the feeling of relief been greater than when it was found that the fire was extinguished, the exterior of the church but little affected, the beautiful spire still adorning the village, and a wide conflagration escaped.

The next Monday morning the work of restoration commenced, funds for repairs were subscribed, and after an interval of two Sabbaths, there was public worship again in the church, Dec. 15.

There was no insurance on the building. The expense of full repair was first estimated at not less than $5,000 but it will fall much below that amount. Eye-witness.

Fires — Besides the fire at the Orthodox church, the house of Mr. Frederic Jarvis took fire on the morning of the 22d ult., but the flames were promptly extinguished. It was doubtless the work of an incendiary and the selectmen have offered a reward of $200.00 for any information that shall lead to the detection of the guilty one. This is the second time within a year that this house has been set on fire. We understand it was fully insured.

We are informed that, at the last fire, the Hector was on the ground and had water on the flames in five minutes from the time the alarm was given. the No. 2 was brought out in about half an hour and did good service.

Weakness of the hose prevented the engines using full force.

New Hose — The Selectmen have ordered 300 feet of rubber hose and a hose-carriage.

The Fireman's Belt

The fireman's belt (above) worn by a member of the Hector Engine Co. No. 3 was given by Agnes Hibbert in 1969.

The Castine Gazette, Dec. 21, 1872 continued:

A Card — To the officers and members of the Fire department, and others. Castine.

The members of the Orthodox church and Society, in Castine, desire to express their hearty thankfulness to the Fire Department, and citizens of Castine, for their earnest and persistent labors in arresting and extinguishing the fire in their church edifice, on the 30th ult., - when the destruction of the building, and an extensive conflagration, seemed inevitable.

Alfred E. Ives, Pastor,

Castine, Dec. 11, 1872

A Card — The officers and members of Hector Engine Company No. 3. tender their sincere and heartfelt thanks to the Ladies for the bountiful supply of refreshments furnished at the fire of the Trinitarian Congregational church, on the 30th ult.

There is some PLEASURE in trying to protect the property of those who show by kind actions that the HARD WORK OF FIREMEN is appreciated.

We also return thanks to our Volunteers and friends for assistance rendered upon this occasion.


Harden Hand Grenade

Above is a Harden Hand Grenade (cobalt blue) patented Aug. 8, 1871. Instructions read: "Break the grenade in such a manner that the contents [salt water] will be liberated into the flames.

The Castine Gazette, Jan. 22, 1873

The Firemen's Supper . . . The officers and members of Hector Fire Company No. 3, and a few volunteers who had been especially active at the recent fire, were invited by the ladies of the Orthodox society to a supper at the vestry last Thursday eve.

The supper was an excellent and bountiful one. We hardly understand how they managed to get up so good an one at this time of year. After due discussion of the viands the toastmaster, Mr. Alfred Adams, gave a number of toasts which were appropriately responded to by members of the Parish and of the Fire Company. We can only give a few as specimens.

Ministers and Meetinghouses: Our great national civilizers-important intellectual educators-the base and vanguard of religion and the hope of the world. Eloquently responded to by the Rev. Mr. Ives.

Our board of Engineers: Skillful and efficient - patient and courteous - may they have nothing to do. Responded to by Mr. Surry.

Our citizen soldiery: our protectors from the fire of the enemy and from our great enemy-fire. An honored brother who never flinched before the first was FLOORED by the last. Responded to by Gen. Tilden.

Members of the Hector Engine Company: As Troy was safe while Hector lived- so do our citizens feel while the willing hearts respond, and resolute arm of our heroic firemen, can like his, be wielded for their protection.

The press and the pill-box: may they perpetually purify public proclivities and promote personal pluck and prosperity. While they punish pugilistic propensities and present properly punctuated paragraphs, may they perfectly prevent very pimple of small-pox.

This last toast evidently called for the Doctor and the Editor. The doctor being an eminently modest man had nothing to say. The editor however managed to utter a few remarks which were rather incoherent, owing-the doctor says-to pain in his epigastrium. He ended by reading (by permission) a humorous poem entitled “The Castine Conflagration.”

[Note: If any of our reader’s know the fate of the Hunneman engine, “Hector 3”, researcher Richard Hunneman, P.O. Box 15, Sedgwick, ME 04676, would be pleased to hear from you.]

Hector Engine Company No. 3   |  "The Castine Conflagration"  |  Curator's Report

Open: May 27 - September 30
Weekdays 10 am - 5 pm, Saturday & Sunday 2 - 5 pm
John Perkins House Bullet The Village Blacksmith Bullet Woodshop
July - August, Wednesday & Sunday, 2 - 5 pm
Group visits can be arranged by appointment.
(207) 326-9247   info@wilsonmuseum.org
facebook icon
Admission is free, except for the John Perkins House,
where there are guided tours on the hour.
Back to Top

A non-profit organization, tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) IRS Code
120 Perkins Street, PO Box 196, Castine Maine 04421
(207) 326-9247    info@wilsonmuseum.org