Fair Play Fire Company No. 1
(405 E. Main Street – Click to View Map)
Located in downtown Madison at the corner of Walnut and Main Streets, Fair Play Fire Company No. 1 is the oldest volunteer fire company in the state. Established on September 15, 1841, the Ones was organized by members of the old United Volunteer Fire Company (read more in history). Their motto since 1841 has been “Help One Another”, which is still boldly proclaimed outside of their firehouse.
The One’s moved into a former streetcar barn in 1888 and added a 55-foot bell tower. The tower’s wood supports, used to hang fire hoses to dry, are still visible today. They topped the tower with a weather vane they named “Little Jimmy”, which became the company’s trademark and a Madison landmark. Peter Hoffman, a tinsmith by trade, created Little Jimmy in 1889 for $28.85. After sustaining some damage during a storm in 1997, the original Little Jimmy was retired and replaced by a new one hand made of copper by Don Felix of Searbrook, NH.
Today, this is still an active firehouse, and the interior is also a fire museum.
Click on any photo below to view the gallery of photos.
1947 Mack Pumper 85LS – 750gpm/200gal
The Mack served the Ones from 1947-1969. The canopy cab configuration has seating for seven firefighters. It has a 707 Cubic Inch, 213 BHP Thermodyne Gas Engine, a 750 gpm Hale ZD-10 2 Stage Centrifugal Pump.
History of the 1947 Mack
World War II had just ended and very little manufacturing had started back up again, which made it difficult for the Ones to obtain their new truck. It was important to purchase a new apparatus, because the fire company had a large influx of members as soldiers were returning from war. Finally, on August 6, 1947, the truck was delivered to Madison from Louisville at a cost of $10,888.
In 1969, the Mack was sold to the Sixes for around $2,500 when the Indiana Rating Bureau (ISO) indicated that the City needed another engine on the hilltop. The Sixes didn’t have a firehouse yet, so the engine was temporarily stored at the Fives.
This apparatus is currently owned by Pat and Raina McMahon of Gladstone, Oregon who have kept it beautifully restored over the years.
Engine 1 – 1969 Mack CF Pumper – 1000gpm/500gal
This Mack served the Ones from 1969-1993.
History of the 1969 Mack
The One’s first yellow engine was delivered around Labor Day in 1969. It was a Mack, which replaced the red 1947 Mack. This truck was built in Allentown, Pennsylvania and was delivered to the Mack shop located in Louisville where individuals from the fire company went down to inspect the truck and instruct the vendor where to mount the tools and appliances that were bought with the apparatus. A bottle of Champagne was broken on the front bumper when it was brought into town.
The color yellow was chosen, because reports at the time showed that it had increased visibility and many delivery trucks were going that way. The Ones continue to use a yellow truck today.
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