Handtub Junction, USA

Handtub of the Month

October 1999

Gerry No. 5  -   Marblehead, MA

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The Gerry 5 (pronounced with a hard G) was the built for Marblehead, MA by Hunneman & Co. of Boston, MA and delivered on July 1, 1845. The Hunneman serial number is 267. The engine was named after Elbridge Gerry, a native of Marblehead, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and a delegate of the Constitutional Convention. He refused to sign the Constitution
because it obligated the new federal government to assume the unpaid revolutionary war debt of the states. He held a significant amount of that debt, and his belief that the new government should not assume that debt made it less likely that he would collect what was owed to him. He later became Governor of Massachusetts, and the fifth Vice President of the United States. The political term gerrymander, constructing a legislative district to favor the election of a person from a particular political party, resulted from his action as Governor.

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The Gerry engine company was the fifth fire company in the town, and the company headquarters was located on State Street in a building which later housed the Spanish American War Veterans Association and currently is an office building. The engine was the first of five Hunnemans purchased by the town of Marblehead. The Gerry was retired from active fire service in 1890. It was housed in various buildings in the town and occasionally participated in firemen's musters. At one muster, the crew was a group of schoolboys led by their teacher.

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The Gerry was restored in 1949 by a group of men belonging to a social club called the Market Square Associates. This group took the Gerry to musters from 1950 to 1953. In December, 1953, after the Market Square Associates decided to give up musters, a group of ten men from the club formed the Gerry 5 Veteran Firemen's Association to pump the Gerry at musters. The organization thrived, and the Gerry continues to be an active competitor in musters. Today, the organization has more than 1000 members, has been recognized for community service by the town of Marblehead, and provides excellent financial support for the engine. The Gerry 5 was the Class B league champion in 1951, 1955, 1956, and 1958. The record stream for the engine is 243' 4 1/2". The stream was played at a playoff between the Gerry and the Atlantic of Swampscott for the Ephraim Taylor Trophy in Marblehead in 1981.

Handtub Junction, USA would like to thank Robin Symonds of Kokomo, IN for submitting the above history of the Gerry No.5.  He is a member of the Gerry No. 5 and the Oko's VFA of Marblehead and has been a long time muster fan and judge.

If anyone as anything that they would like to add or has any photo's of the Gerry No.5 they would like to see added, please email me or mail it to:

Handtub Junction, USA,  PO Box 359,  Southborough, MA 01772

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