2020 Commercial 089


Fire Department Reservoir No. 3.

Harking back to the days of hand-pumped fire engines is the manhole cover embedded in the brick driveway of 89 Commercial Street. It’s a vestige of one of 41 reservoirs that served firefighting needs in the West End. Joseph Andrews, a 29-year veteran of Pumper House No. 1 nearby, explained through his son-in-law, Paul Mendes, that the reservoirs — cisterns, he called them — were supplied both by rainwater and the high water table in the area. “This was in use before fire hydrants,” he said.

¶ Last updated on 21 September 2018.


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