Handtub Junction, USA
Feature Gallery

The engine was built by Cowing & Co. of Seneca Falls, NY in 1859 and delivered to the community of Glen Falls, NY. It was later sold to Richmond, VA, then to Augusta, GA and in 1868 was sold to Union Springs, AL for the sum of $1800, at that time being known as the "Citizen No. 1".  In October of 1897 the engine was sold to the Randolph, MA Veteran Fireman's Association for $700 and the name changed to "Alabama Coon". Over the next 4 years they spent $3000 refurbishing and rebuilding the engine and in 1902 after great disappoint with it's performance and calling it  " a first class hoo-doo" the Randolph VFA sold it to the Stoughton, MA VFA for $410. A muster book from largest hand engine contest ever held in Lowell, MA in 1908 reports:
 "The latter Association toyed with the machine for a year and at last decided to dismantle the engine, and found the "works" were rotten to the core. Mr. Ellis Drake and Mr. Willis of the Association undertook to put it in first-class condition and succeeded so well that the hoodoo has since won $1,250 in prize money, at the forty-three musters attended, and captured the League Torch Trophy at Manchester, NH, August 17, 1905, on a play of 205 feet 5 3-8 inches"
. The engine went on to win the championship torch again in 1910.  One item of note is that when the engine was rebuilt by Stoughton, the pump mechanism was reportedly changed to one manufactured by the L. Button Company the largest fire engine manufacturer of the 19th century and may have been the reason for it's muster success following those repairs. Sometime after World War II the "Alabama Coon" was sold to Ipswich, MA where the name was eventually changed back to "Citizen No. 1". It appeared at its last New England League muster in 1957 and some time after that it was sold to Freedom Hold, NY and later to the Roth Steel Co. of Syracuse. In May of 1969 the engine was purchased by John Lowe of California and completely restored and entered into muster competition in that state where it proceeded to win 3 west coast championships.  The Citizen No. 1 is the only hand engine ever to win championships on both the east coast and west coast and is currently on display at the Columbia State Park in Columbia, CA.

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All photos by E. Lowe-Jones & D. Falconi

Handtub Junction, USA would like to thank the Columbia State Historic Park & State Park Interpreters Steve Bechtold & Darci Moorefor their help and cooperation with these features. I would also like to thank John Lowe and Elizabeth Low-Jones my gracious hosts on my visit to California.

Copyright 2005, Handtub Junction, USA. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.