Tavistock’s first volunteer fire brigade was established with 21 men on November 23, 1911, two years after the Village was incorporated.
The Village installed 16 water hydrants connected to a 40,000 gallon water tank. The hose reel was purchased in 1912.
At the call of fire, the rubber-clad and booted volunteer firemen would pull the reel to the scene, an exhausting task.
The hose reel remained in service until approximately 1928. Then it sat outside the Tavistock Public Library for over 30 years.
In 1967, municipal clerk and treasurer Robert Rudy Sr. placed the hose reel in storage at his own home to prevent further deterioration.
In 1997, his son, East Zorra-Tavistock councillor Robert Rudy Jr. asked council to donate it to the South Easthope Mutual collection for restoration and safekeeping.
Tavistock Fire Brigade of 1911, appearing in the photo:
Left to right, standing: Arthur Ford, Chief Peter Steinman, Adam Mansz, Frank McDermott, Adam Heinbuch, unknown, unknown, John Steinman, William Schaefer, John Keutsch, Hanas Hahn; kneeling: William Kaufman, Fred Eckstein, Charles Kaufman, Lloyd Klein, George Quehl; sitting: Fred Wright, George Shibley, Henry Appel, unknown, and Jacob Wettlaufer.