This collection includes corrrespondence, financial and legal documents
and miscellaneous papers of the Stockton Fire Department, 1856-1887
(headquarter unit)and from five divisions: Eureka Fire Company, 1856-1905; San
Joaquin Fire Company, 1856-1887; Weber Fire Company, 1875-1886; Protection Hook
and Ladder Company, 1880-1887; and Exempt Firefighters Company, 1903-1905.
The formation of the Weber Bucket Brigade began organized volunteer fire
protection in Stockton before a city government was established. Stockton's
first big fire (December 23, 1849) destroyed the entire business district and
demonstrated the need for both fire and police protection. The result was the
establishment (June 26, 1850) of the Weber Engine Company and the authorization
to purchase Stockton's first small hand engine. After a second major fire (May
5, 1851) the City Council approved the purchase of a new engine and the
organization of the Protection Hook and Ladder Company (November 15, 1851). Two
years later (June 2, 1853), the Eureka Company was formed. Competition between
the Weber and Eureka Companies led to them being reorganized into one
department (February 7, 1854) under the control of a single chief. The San
Joaquin Company was established the following month (March 4, 1854). Later that
same year a new engine was added.
Collection is open for research.