Headquarters prior to 1998
History of the Hopkinton Fire Department
This section is currently being developed as we research our history. Enclosed is a brief synopsis of what we have been able to find regarding the history of our department.
It is believed that the first settler’s in Hopkinton were Rev. John Eliot and a band of praying Indians in 1660. Edward Hopkins, a colonial governor of Connecticut, left a legacy to Harvard College. The trustees of the legacy purchased this land from Indians in 1710. The Tenants leased the land for one penny an acre. Eventually the land was given to the original tenants. Hopkinton originally contained 25,000 acres bounded by Sudbury, Sherborn, Mendon, Sutton, and Westborough. In 1735 4,000 acres were set aside to form part of Upton. In 1846, a part was taken to form part of Ashland. Hopkinton was incorporated on December 13, 1715. The first town meeting took place on March 24, 1724 with thirty voters present, in the Price Mansion House. The Annual Town Meeting is now held in the high school field house with an average of approximately 800-1000 voters attending each year. During the 1800’s Hopkinton became a leading shoe manufacturing town. But, several serious fires occurred in 1876, 1882 and 1900, destroyed many factories, and Hopkinton began it’s declined as a major industrial town. With the building of Interstate Route 495 in 1967, various high-tech industries located in Hopkinton, but the town still remains primarily a residential community.
April 19, 1853 - The town accepts delivery of Three Hunneman Hand Tubs:
Quansigamog No. 1 receives Hunneman Serial Number 475
September 8-10, 1858 - Edwards Hopkins (Woodville Engine #2) wins the hand pumping competition at the Grand Firemen’s Muster held in Worcester, MA. Prize awarded was $400.00 cash.
March 2, 1874- By a vote of the town meeting, the selectmen are ordered to create an organized fire department.
March 21, 1876 – First of three major fires destroys a large boot factory, [employing 800] a post office, a hotel, a church, [unidentified, but not FCCH. It was destroyed in the 2nd fire.] numerous other buildings on the North side of Main Street.” The shoe factory rebuilt, as did the public buildings, but many of the smaller businesses never reopened.
April 4, 1882 – A second major fire destroyed the largest shoe factory, which alone employed 800 people, wiped out most of Hopkinton’s business section including the Congregational Church, which was reduced to ashes in 20 minutes. In the aftermath of the Great Fire the church called for a day of fasting and prayer.
Unlike the first fire, the second fire had a lasting effect on the town. The population gradually declined. The largest factory had been destroyed, was never rebuilt and people began to seek employment elsewhere. The businesses that were destroyed relocated elsewhere, and residents who had been employed by the businesses left.
August 22, 1895 – Qunsigamond No. 1 establishes a New World record for height of a hand drawn pumper. The height obtained was 225 feet at the Firemen’s Muster – Waltham, Mass.
March 15, 1900 – Third major fire which would end Hopkinton’s industrial age. In 1865 the population was 6,000, but by the end of 1900 it was down to 2,400, back to where it was in the late 1830s, before the industrial boom hit the town. On this date, the town hall and four business blocks were destroyed. This was approximately the same area that had been burned out in 1882.
October 17, 1908 – Edwards Hopkins (Woodville Engine #2) again wins Fireman’s Muster with hand drawn pumper.
1915 – Pope Hartford Chemical Wagon is put in-service. Thought to be the first motorized fire apparatus in the Town of Hopkinton.
November 1, 1947 – Future Chief, Arthur Stewart is appointed to the department by Chief Joseph Pyne.
January 19, 1964 – Chief Joseph Pyne is injured in a fire at his home.
March 1964 - Chief Pyne succumbs to his injuries.
March 1964 - Arthur Stewart is appointed the first full-time Chief of Department
February 1978 – Major blizzard blankets New England. Using snow mobiles, fire department personnel remove numerous motorized stranded in their vehicles on Interstate 495. Many motorists are housed at fire headquarters for several days.
August 1, 1988 – Chief Stewart retires.
August 1, 1988 - Chief Richard MacMillian is appointed to succeed Chief Stewart.
October 27, 1997 – Chief Richard MacMillian retires.
October 27, 1997 – Chief Gary T. Daugherty, Sr. is appointed to succeed Chief MacMillian. Chief Daugherty is the first chief hired from outside the department.
December 15, 1997 – Second ambulance is placed in service to help handle increased demands for EMS service.
December 3, 1999 – Hopkinton responds to Worcester Cold Storage fire to assist Worcester Fire Department who suffered the loss of six firefighters while fighting this fire.
July 24, 2002 - House explosion kills two children. House is located two doors from fire headquarters.
September 15, 2006 - Fire Department begins delivering Paramedic Level EMS service to the town. First paramedics were: FF Don Collins, Chief Gary T. Daugherty, Sr., FF Gary T. Daugherty, Jr., FF James Frederick, FF James Gosselin, FF Tim Healy, FF Tom Poirier, and Lt. Steve Slaman. FF Matt Bailey and FF Kaz Pirokowski were attending paramedic school.