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Historic Hallowell

The Tiger and the Lion

Hallowell’s second fire engine was called the Lion, but at first, was known as the Hydraulion. It was sold to the Vaughans in 1875. The wheels were made of wooden discs which where bound with half inch iron tires. In the center was a pump with one cylinder. The body was five and a half feet long. It worked like an old kitchen pump. It is said to have been brought from England over a century ago. There has been no record to show when the old lion was secured. The Lion was replaced by another fire engine called the Torrent. The Torrent was purchased from Bath Private Co. The Torrent retired later between 1900-1920.

The Tiger was built in 1835 and commissioned two years later in 1837. It is a hand tub, a type of fire fighting engine with a stitched together, leather hose.

Fire Department, Hallowell, 1843
Fire Department, Hallowell, 1843

Item Contributed by
Hubbard Free Library

The machine was built to be hauled by a horse team or truck. The Tiger had a team of forty people who pumped water into the hose and onto the fire. Some of the people sat on the hose as they went to the fire, a faster way for everyone to get there. The Tiger #4 is one of the many hand tubs that Hallowell owned. It’s the only one still in Hallowell's possession as the rest have been destroyed by time or are in museums, a true sign of our heritage. The other tubs include the Lion, three other Tigers, the Cascade, and the Torrent.

Tiger Fire Co., Water Street, Hallowell, ca. 1888
Tiger Fire Co., Water Street, Hallowell, ca. 1888

Item Contributed by
Hubbard Free Library

The Tiger's current location is in the old fire house, and it is still in good working condition. As of 2011, it is 177 years old. It was retired in 1880, and when it was used, they didn't have hydrants but used reservoirs. Some large events the Tiger was in are fires while others were parades. One fire case was on Fourth of July, 1962. The fire men were off at a muster when a fire started in a building. The women of the town hauled out the Tiger and used it to put out the fire, saving the town. One memorable parade was in the same year that the Tiger was featured in a celebration on July 27th through the 29th. The Hand Tub paraded on that Saturday and later competed in a muster. The Tiger is a memorable and important artifact in Hallowell's history.