Mechanic Fire Society, 1811-1991 – MS029

Mechanic Fire Society, 1811-1991 – MS029

Provenance: Placed on deposit by the Mechanic Fire Society c/o Dr. George Patten in March 1987.

Citation: Mechanic Fire Society Collection, MS029, on deposit at the Portsmouth Athenaeum

Size: 1.75 linear feet

Access: No restrictions

Processed by: Susan Stowe Kindstedt in 2008.

Historical Note

The Mechanic Fire Society was organized on June 24, 1811. It was the third private fire society in Portsmouth, prior to the establishment of a municipal fire department. In 1834 the city of Portsmouth organized a town fire department and the Society’s role changed largely to a social group.

Summary

Record books, membership rosters and attendance records, constitution, charter, account book, dinner menus for quarterly meetings (1886-1971), and photographs.

Folder List

Box 1

Folder 1 Account Book 1820-1858

Includes a list of members in the front and information about payment of dues and other membership fees

Folder 2 Record Book June 2, 1843 – September 4, 1863

Proceedings of the Mechanic Fire Society

Folder 3 Record Book December 4, 1863 – September 6, 1888

Proceedings of the Mechanic Fire Society

Folder 4 Record Book December 7, 1888 – September 1, 1916

Proceedings of the Mechanic Fire Society

Folder 5 Record Book December 1, 1916 – September 5, 1941

Proceedings of the Mechanic Fire Society

Folder 6 Record Book December 5, 1941 – September 2, 1966

Proceedings of the Mechanic Fire Society

 

Box 2

Folder 1 Record Book December 2, 1966 – December 7, 1973

Proceedings of the Mechanic Fire Society

Folder 2 Quarterly Dinner menus

Include date, usually location, name of host, and menu. Many have portraits (host?) on cover

December 3, 1886 Rockingham House, Dr. Samuel Whittier host

June 3, 1887 Rockingham House, J. H. Broughton, host

December 2, 1887 Rockingham House, Thomas E. Call, Jr., host

March 2, 1888 The Rockingham, Edward D. Coffin, host

June 1, 1888 The Rockingham, Enoch H. Conner, host

September 7, 1888 The Rockingham, Marcellus Eldredge, host

September 6, 1889 Kearsarge House, George E. Hodgon, host

December 6, 1889 The Rockingham, William A. Hodgdon, host

June 6, 1890 The Rockingham, Albert R. Junkins, host

March 15, 1890 The Rockingham, Frank Jones, host [portrait]

September 5, 1890 The Rockingham, William R. Martin, host

December 5, 1890 The Rockingham, Josiah H. Morrison, host

March 6, 1891 The Rockingham, Joseph P. Morse, host

June 5, 1891 The Rockingham, John Pender, host

September 4, 1891 The Rockingham, Capt. Albert Rand, host

December 4, 1891 The Rockingham, Albert E. Rand, host

Folder 3 Quarterly Dinner menus

Include date, usually location, name of host, and menu. Many have portraits (host?) on cover

March 4, 1892 The Rockingham, Willard J. Sampson, host [portrait of H. Fisher Eldredge, president on front cover; list of members on back cover]

June 3, 1892 The Rockingham, Charles A. Sinclair, host

September 2, 1892 The Rockingham, Henry R. Stoddard, host

March 3, 1893 The Rockingham, Albert C. Anderson, host [members listed on back cover]

June 2, 1893 The Rockingham, Charles P. Berry, host [members listed on back cover]

September 1, 1893 The Rockingham, Thomas E. Call, host

December 1, 1893 The Rockingham, Dan M. Camp, host

March 2, 1894 The Rockingham, John W. Caswell, host

June 1, 1894 The Rockingham, Edward D. Coffin, host

December 7, 1894 The Rockingham, H. Fisher Eldredge, host [portrait]

March 1, 1895 The Rockingham, Morris C. Foye, host [portrait]

December 6, 1895 The Rockingham, Alonzo K. W. Green, host

December 4, 1896 The Rockingham, Hon. Frank Jones, host

June 4, 1897 The Rockingham, Hon. John H. Laskey, host [portrait, no menu]

September 3, 1897 The Rockingham, Hiram C. Locke, host [portrait]

December 3, 1897 The Rockingham, “Complimentary to Brother William R. Martin, our oldest member May 1, 1860 to December 3, 1897.”

March 4, 1898 The Rockingham, George A. Mudge, host [portrait]

September 2, 1898 The Rockingham, John Pender, host

June 2, 1899 The Rockingham, Henry R. Stoddard, host [portrait]

September 1, 1899 The Rockingham, A. B. Trefethen, host

December 8, 1899 The Rockingham, Fred H. Ward, host

Folder 4 Quarterly Dinner menus

Include date, usually location, name of host, and menu. Many have portraits (host?) on cover

December 7, 1900 The Rockingham, Thomas E. Call, host

September 5, 1902 The Rockingham, A. K. W. Green, host

March 7, 1902 The Rockingham, J. H. Gardiner, host [portrait]

September 4, 1903 The Rockingham, Chauncey B. Hoyt, host

December 4, 1903 The Rockingham, Albert R. Junkins, host

March 13, 1903 The Rockingham, Joseph O. Hobbs, host [portrait]

December 2, 1904 Kearsarge House, George A. Mudge, host [portrait]

December 1, 1905 Rockingham Hotel, John G. Parsons, host [portrait]

June 2, 1905 Rockingham Hotel, John Newick, host

September 1, 1905 Rockingham Hotel, Sherman T. Newton, host [portrait, autographs of Russo Japanese delegates: —-mura [torn], Jikei Hashiquchi, Mesatashi Fukitami, Kiuoshi K. Kawakami, Tokio, Japan]

December 7, 1906 Rockingham Hotel, Bro. Richard I. Walden, host [list of members on back cover]

December 4, 1908 Rockingham Hotel, William J. Cater, host [portrait, list of members on back cover]

June 4, 1909 Rockingham Hotel, G. Fred Drew, host [portrait]

September 3, 1909 Rockingham Hotel, Morris C. Foye, host [portrait]

March 5, 1909 Rockingham Hotel, William L. Conlon, host [portrait, member list on back cover]

June 3, 1910 Rockingham Hotel, Chauncey B. Hoyt, host [member list on back cover]

March 4, 1910 Rockingham Hotel, William A. Hodgdon, host [portrait]

March 3, 1911 Rockingham Hotel, Fred W. Lydston, host [member list on back cover]

June 2, 1911 Rockingham Hotel, George D. Marcy, host [portrait]

March 1, 1912 Rockingham Hotel, John William Newell, host [informal group photo portrait on cover (100 th Anniversary, Mechanic Fire Society…at Ragged Neck, July 12, 1911) member list on back cover]

June 7, 1912 Rockingham Hotel, John Newick, host [portrait]

September 6, 1912 Rockingham Hotel, Sherman T. Newton, host [portrait]

June 5, 1914 Rockingham Hotel, Everett W. Trefethen, host [portrait]

Folder 5 Dinner Menus

Annual Dinners:

December 6, 1935 Rockingham Hotel, Byron F. Staples, host

Quarterly Dinner:

June 4, 1937 Rockingham Hotel “In memory of our deceased Brother, Benjamin F. Webster” [photo portrait of Webster on front cover]

Quarterly Meeting:

September 3, 1971 Rockingham Hotel, E. Curtis Matthews, host [portrait, member list on back cover]

Folder 6 Biographical Rosters and Supplement

No place, no publisher, no date (ca. 1984) [3 copies]

Folder 7 Framed notice of 100 th anniversary clambake meeting of the Society, July 12, 1911, at Ragged Neck, Rye.

Folder 8 Framed notice of 103 rd anniversary clambake meeting of the Society, August 7, 1914, at Ragged Neck, Rye.

 

Box 3

Folder 1 “The Great Boston Fire – 1872 – A Disaster with a Villain: Old Style Politics,” Boston Sunday Globe Magazine supplement, 12 November 1972. 55 pages.

Folder 2 Printed lists of members 1901, 1904, 1914

Folder 3 Poem History of the Mechanic Fire Society, undated, no author

Folder 4 Member notebooks, with constitution printed in front, leather bound and stamped with member names including – William A. Hodgdon, Ralph T. Wood, Eugene B. Eastman, Charles A. Allen, Frederick S. Gray and Eugene P. —–

Member notebooks, paper bound, with member names handwritten including – James F. Jenness, Richard Walden 1917, and Edmund M. Brown. Several books have no name, but some entries.

One small notebook, used for dry goods inventory, E. M. Brown, Portsmouth, February 12, 1875

Folder 5 Six blank member notebooks, paper bound

Folder 6 Membership roster and attendance record book, 1845

Folder 7 Bank Book 1919-1939

Folder 8 Correspondence and Bills

Folder 9 Correspondence and Bills

Folder 10 Correspondence and Bills

Folder 11 Correspondence and Bills

Folder 12 Correspondence and Bills

Folder 13 Miscellaneous

“Constitution and Charter of the United Fire Society” [small red book] inscribed in front cover – Presented to the Mechanic Fire Society December 1915

Printed letter to members, 1916

Printed invitation to meeting, 1982

Printed invitation to meeting, 1991

Mechanic Fire Society labels [twelve copies]

Henry B. Margeson, A History of the Mechanic Fire Society of Portsmouth, N. H. 1811-1961. Paper, 16 pages.

 

Separated Materials:

One Small Leather Bound Chest

Manufacturer’s label on inside of cover – “B. C. Sweetser, Saddle, Harness, Cap & Trunk Maker, Opposite the Bell Tavern, Congress Street, Portsmouth N. H.”

Two Mounted Photos (stored in file folder):

100 th anniversary, Mechanic Fire Society at Ragged Neck, July 12, 1911, with identification of members and chef. Reverse of one has penciled inscription: “J. N. [or W] Newell #179.” Reverse of the other is inscribed “Property of Mechanic Fire Society, Portsmouth, NH.”