We've been in discussions with the Thomson family for more than 3 years, ever since they offered this historic piece of fire fighting equipment to the Society. The question was basically how to move it from Sands Point, where it has been stored for more than 50 years. The answer, once realized, was simplicity in itself. Who moves vehicles in any condition from one place to another. Since 1929 the answer in Port Washington has always been Chester's!
Meet the newest item in our collection, a fire fighting hand pulled hose-reel from about 1915. Manufactured by the Wirt & Knox Manufacturing Company, in Philadelphia, they listed it as the Wirt Style "L" Light Weight Roller Bearing Cart. It was also called a "Spider Cart". It's already accessioned officially as 2021.31.001.
We are incredibly grateful to the Thomson family, of course, for this wondrous donation. And we are also thankful that Chester's handled the move flawlessly, even though this wasn't a typical vehicle to move.
In its heyday, Wirt & Knox was one of the premier manufacturers of firefighting equipment in the United States. To read their story, most of it pre-1925 or so, check out this article.
This artifact from Long Island's local history will be preserved and presented, so that everyone can appreciate and learn from our collective history.
Our Dutch Colonial Barn, circa 1690 in Sands Point and moved to the Sands-Willet House in the 1970s, will be transformed into an exhibition space by 2025, housing our agricultural tool collection, our surrey, our sleighs, and other local artifacts from Port Washington's local history, once known as Cow Neck.
If you are not already a member, please join us in our quest to preserve and Keep Our Local History Alive.