Fire Fighting on Historic Columbia

Issue 2 and Volume 88.

Fire Fighting on Historic Columbia Historic old Columbia, in Tuolumne County, California, now a picturesque “ghost town” but in the days of ’49 one of the largest and most thriving of all California’s famous gold-mining camps, is to be a State Park. There was plenty of excitement in the earlydays in this interesting town. But, for stirring up the entire populace, nothing approached the periodic contests of Columbia’s two fire engine companies. In 1861 the American residents organized a company and purchased a flashy engine named “Papeete,” which had been made for Tahiti, but, through some mix-up, was not shipped from San Francisco. Then “the foreigners got their backs up” and formed a rival company, with an even more elaborate fire engine. Thereafter the two organizations held frequent contests to see which could pump water farthest or which was fastest at throwing a stream over the “Liberty Pole” in the…

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