Old Fire Engine Still in Use in Columbia, Cal.

Old Fire Engine Still in Use in Columbia, Cal.

The oldest active fire engine in the country, in service in Columbia, California, is shown in “Cactus Artist,” a Universal Person-Oddity, soon to be released throughout the country. The old engine is known as the Papeete.

It was built in Boston in 1852 on order for the King of the Sandwich Islands, now our Territory of Hawaii and the site of considerable modern fire fighting equipment. The Papeete was shipped by clipper around Cape Horn. But the captain and the crew of the clipper caught the gold fever and changed their course to San Francisco where the pumper lay in port until bought by the rip-roaring town of Columbia.

At that time, the town had a population of forty thousand, but the hundred and fifty people who live there today are prouder than ever of the oldest fire engine in the country. And especially proud is John Nash, who is ninety-one years old and one of the oldest fire chiefs in the United States.

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