Hallowell was incorporated as a Town on April 26, 1771 and from its beginning recognized the responsibility to provide for the public safety of its citizens. At the first Town Meeting, May 22, 1771, Selectmen chose Samuel Bullen to serve as Constable. His responsibilities were to maintain public order, to deal with persons who were a threat to themselves or others, and to deal with other violations of Town Ordinances.
Crimes of violence and serious property offenses were the responsibility of the Lincoln County Sheriff and his Deputies in Pownalborough until 1799, when Kennebec County was established. When the first Town Hall was constructed in 1828 it included a small lock-up to house offenders overnight or on a short-term basis. It was most often used to deal with instances of public drunkenness. As the population of the Town increased Selectmen saw the need for a formal law enforcement structure and created the position of City Marshal, a position that evolved over the years into our present Police Department.
Fire Station, Second Street, Hallowell, May 30, 1918
Item Contributed by
Hubbard Free Library
In the early years of settlement fireplaces were the common means to heat homes and businesses. Until the advent of Franklin Stoves and other enclosed heating systems the average home burned 20 to 30 cords of wood per year--with a resulting high risk of loss of property to fire. In 1801 the first community fire company, the Union Fire (Club) Association, was established and its rules required each member to keep ready at least two leather buckets for possible use in a "bucket brigade", and canvas bags to provide for the removal of goods at fires.
As technology evolved pumping devices, known as "hand tubs", were created which were able to propel a spray of water upon fires. The first of such devices, known as "The Cascade, was built in Philadelphia by Merrick & Co. in 1819, and brought to Hallowell by the Vaughan family.
In 1835 the Hallowell Fire Department was organized and over the years it introduced new pieces of fire fighting apparatus--the Hydraulion (Lion), the Torrent, the Tiger, and eventually a steam pumper. In 1898 the Fire Department moved from its location on Winthrop Street to the old Town Hall building on Second Street where it exists today, making it one of the oldest continuously operating fire stations in New England.