The postcard below was created by Sandusky photographer E.H. Schlessman. Three gentlemen are standing next to an 1869 Silsby steam engine. Mr. Hegemer is the man in the center of the picture, and the other two men have not yet been identified.
James H. Wichman wrote in an article in the September 23, 1955 issue of the Sandusky Register Star News that by 1859 there were sixty volunteer firemen in Sandusky, Ohio. During the Civil War over half of the volunteer firemen enlisted to serve in the Union Army, so new fire fighters had to be recruited. In 1865 a steam engine was purchased from the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company of Manchester, New Hampshire at a cost of over $4,000. Silsby steam engines, made by the Silsby Manufacturing Co. of Seneca Falls, New York were purchased by the Sandusky Fire Department in 1868 and 1869. A history of the Sandusky Fire Department, housed in the local history collections of the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center, states that the purchase of these three steam engines along with a hood and ladder truck helped move the fire department towards a reorganization of the entire department. Inquire at the Reference Services Desk to view A Look Back at History, two booklets which provide an interesting history of the Sandusky Fire Department.