Fire Horses In History: Washington, D.C., circa 1914

Washington, D.C., circa 1914. Three-horse team pulling water tower.

“Three-horse team pulling water tower.”
A fire truck racing past the Tea Cup Inn on F Street.
Harris & Ewing.


The “999” Pony


In Southampton, England there is a pony that is creating a rush of emergency calls from caring people that are driving by her pasture.

The message to the fire brigade is always the same: Come quickly, a poor little pony is stuck in the mud.

The reason for the emergency calls is not that the pony is sunk in the mire, but that she simply has very short legs.

Her owner is considering putting up a sign outside the field to advise motorists that “Mayflower”  is a stocky pony, not a stuck pony.

The problem with putting up a sign is that one day she might actually get stuck and then the fire brigade won’t turn up, says the owner.

“Mayflower” is a cross between a Shetland pony and a New Forest pony.  She inherited the Shetland’s short legs and the New Forest pony’s long body.

Her unusually short legs compared to the other ponies in the pasture that surround her cause Mayflower to stand out, or rather semi-disappear.  Thus the cause for all the excitement.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service’s animal rescue team have been called out numerous times to rescue the animal since it started grazing on the salt marshes at Redbridge, Southampton.

This has included  a specialist lifting vehicle, 12 fire fighters, two to three fire trucks plus an animal rescue expert.

Every time the highly trained firefighters rush to the scene they find the same horse … “Mayflower”.

So, what does Mayflower think of all this?

She simply trots her little self off to prove that she’s not stuck at all, but quite simply minding her own business doing what ponies do … grazing.

Looking For Mom


This gelding survived the flames of the California fires
and was rescued just in time.


If you have lost horses, please notify us
and we will post the photos.

Link:  Horses Rescued ~ Scenes To Remember

Link:  Horses ~ Southern California Fires

Horses Rescued ~ Scenes To Remember


Racing The Flames of the Southern California Fires




There’s always a way…

With contact number quickly added …
horse is now safe at center.



Home Sweet Home is now a horse trailer in a parking lot


Horses rescued from one ranch stick together.


At rescue centers, names and identification
of each horse are clearly marked on paddocks.


Rescue horses were brought to Laguna Woods Equestrian Center, a horse facility for senior citizens.  Many of these riders are well into their 80’s, still caring for their horses. 

They didn’t hesitate to take the horses
threatened by the fires.


Coming Home !

One family manages to save their pets
plus those of their neighbors.
Story Link:  Here is their story.


Link: News Rescue Stories

Photos: Los Angeles Times, Orange County Register,
San Diego Tribune

Horses ~ Southern California Fires


For Details:
Strawberry Lane


Horses wait for rescue as fire threatens in San Diego, Ca.

Link: Looking For Mom

Horse History In Photos – Milwaukee


Back when the town had drinking troughs for horses, and taverns served free lunches and streetcar tracks bent round the corner, Milwaukee Journal and Milwaukee Sentinel photographers, and other picture makers, were there to record the history.

The photographs on this page provide a small view of the horses in Milwaukee’s past.


Blackie, Whitie and Brownie were among the last horses to pull Milwaukee Fire Department rigs. This picture was taken in 1925.


This photograph of New Coeln House was taken about 1905 when Jacob Klein operated the two-story Cream City brick saloon and dance hall.

It was built as a “half-way house” in about 1851. Travelers between Racine and Milwaukee often slept on the second floor.


All Wisconsin Ice & Coal Co. deliverymen wore brass-buttoned uniforms when this picture was taken in 1901 in front of the home of Capt. Fred Pabst of the Pabst Brewery family. 


Around the turn of the century, wagons held up street car traffic on Wisconsin Ave. in Downtown Milwaukee. The old Gimbles Store is on the left.


This is a view of the undertaking and furniture establishment of Herb & Schmidt, with one of the firm’s rigs at the curb.


Dummy horses were a familiar sight in harness stores in Milwaukee. This picture, taken about 1899, shows the Standard Harness Shop at 506 Grand Ave. (now W. Wisconsin Ave.).


A busy corner in downtown Milwaukee before the end of the 19th Century.


Milwaukee was a big user of horses in 1951 when it kept 56 teams to pull ash and rubbish vehicles, like this one, from house to house. This type of collection ended later that year.


Photographs and information from the Archives of the Milwaukee Journal and Sentinal

Sailor’s Stolen Wallet Found 56 years Later – To The Day

LEWISTON, Maine — On April 11, 1951, sailor Val Gregoire, 18, was hit over the head while on shore leave in Boston. When he came to, his wallet — and his pants — were gone.

Gregoire’s widow and five children were familiar with the story, which became part of family legend. But now they have proof.

The wallet was discovered by a demolition worker at Boston‘s Paramount Theatre — 56 years to the day Gregoire lost it.

I was stunned,” said Jeannette Gregoire, 75, of Lewiston, who got a call from Kathy Bagen, the worker’s wife. “How could this have survived?”

Richard Bagen of East Weymouth, Mass., was tearing down a wall when the wallet spilled out, his wife said.

“There was no money in the wallet, but it contained Val’s Navy ID, a copy of his Augusta birth certificate and more than a dozen photos.

stolen-wallet-old-photos-350-pixels.jpg  An Armed Forces Liberty Pass was dated  April 11, 1951,” the same month and day Richard Bagen made his discovery.

The date was what freaked me out,” Kathy Bagen told the Sun Journal of Lewiston. 

“Maybe it was meant to be found.” She managed to track down Jeannette Gregoire and mailed the wallet to her.

The wallet contained several pictures of Val, his mom, friends and a laminated photo of Jeannette, then his best girl.

The couple eventually married and was six months shy of their 50th wedding anniversary in 2003 when Val died following complications from a kidney transplant.

He was a retired firefighter in Lewiston.

Firefighters Pay Tribute To Own

Firefighters Answer A Final Call For One Of Their Own


The plight of retiree Robert Murray, who had no next of kin to arrange burial, raised an alarm for his colleagues in uniform.

For much of the latter years of his life, Robert Murray lived out of the back of his Ford station wagon.

And when the former Los Angeles County firefighter died recently, there were no loved ones at his side or to claim his body. He was about to become a statistic, and end up at the cemetery in Boyle Heights where the cremated remains of thousands of unclaimed bodies are buried each year, when fate intervened.

A group of Los Angeles County firefighters heard about Murray, who died last month at the age of 81 in a Covina hospital, and set out to give the story a different ending, one with a fireman’s proper burial.

On Friday, about 50 working and retired firefighters gathered in Rosemead to bury Murray, a 31-year veteran of the department, though only a handful had ever met him.

The story began more than a month ago, when Carol Moore, a registered nurse and the patient care coordinator for the firefighters union, found out that Murray was languishing in a hospital without any family at his side.

Her first move was to notify Los Angeles County Firefighters Local 1014.

Paul Rusin, one of the union directors, was intrigued and wanted to know more about him.

But concern over violating medical privacy laws made him reluctant to step in.

On Jan. 11, Murray died at Citrus Valley Medical Center, Inter-Community Campus, in Covina.

An investigation by the county public administrator’s office found no next of kin and gave custody of the body to the firefighters union earlier this month.

Described as quiet and thin with jet-black hair, Murray was a mystery to most of those he worked with.

He spent most of his 31 years in the department at Fire Station 82 in La Cañada Flintridge.

After retiring in 1980, he collected a pension, but no one knew where he lived. He carried a suitcase wrapped in masking tape, and for part of his working and retired life, lived out of the station wagon.

Lyle Burkhart, a retired firefighter who occasionally worked overtime with Murray in the 1970s, described him as someone few really got to know.

Murray went by “Bob” and earned the nickname “The Crow” for winning a golf tournament in which the prize was both a stuffed crow and the right to “crow” about the win, said Rich Zimmer, a now-retired firefighter who worked with him.

Many described the service and the burial, which involved no close friends or family of Murray, as a product of camaraderie that exists among firefighters.

“It’s a family-oriented job,” said John Smolin, treasurer for the union. “It’s unusual that this guy slipped through the cracks.”

During the funeral, Chaplain Elvin Miranda said: “There is a feeling of grief, because there would be no one to grieve for him. There was a big piece missing.”

The service was held Friday morning at Calvary Chapel Golden Springs in Diamond Bar.

For the Friday afternoon burial at Savannah Memorial Park, a five-acre cemetery in Rosemead, a procession of two firetrucks and a white, eight-posted horse-drawn hearse carried Murray’s flag-draped casket to the donated plot.

A bagpiper played “Amazing Grace” as men and women — many in uniform — stood in a semicircle around the grave, heads bowed.

“It’s kind of bittersweet,” said Rusin, standing next to firefighter and union director Will Pryor after the funeral.

“We saved him from a difficult fate,” Pryor said.  

Los  Angeles Times, By Tony Barboza, Times Staff Writer
February 2007