Permanent Exhibit in our Newest Museum
Beechwood Museum - Our Hand Tub Pumpers
After a long and thorough restoration by Firefly Restoration, of Hope Maine, the 1849 Independence 2 and the 1856 Konohasett hand tub pumpers have returned to Cohasset where they will enjoy a permanent place in the Beechwood Meetinghouse and Museum. The pumpers were at one time the best technology available for fighting the all too common fires that plagued Cohasset in the days when oil lamps and candles were a home's only light source, and when chimney fires were a nearly weekly occurrence.
It's a testament to the strength and durability of its construction that the Independence II a hand-pulled, man-powered water pump, served Cohasset's Fire Department for nearly 60 years, from 1849 to 1905, long after the town had installed fire hydrants on our streets. Why would the town have hung on to the antiquated technology when there were better types of fire-fighting equipment available? Because it could be mobilized into spots where a hose connected to a fire hydrant couldn't reach. The downside was that it took twenty to thirty brawny fellows breaking their backs on the pumper's handles to get the water to the upper stories of a building. That's the kind of action that legends are made of, and for many years after its retirement, the Konohassett was used at Firemen's musters in order to show just what firemen were made of.