14 thoughts on “Lents Volunteer Fire Department, 1913

  1. So the City of Portland fire department used horses to pull the Hose to the fire, Lent neighborhood,women!

  2. The group of young ladies in this photo (accurately dated 1913) was known as the “Girls’ Hose Team of the Lents Volunteer Fire Department.” Two photos of the team (with identifications) ran in The Oregonian (29 June 1913, p 6) and the Oregon Daily Journal (11 July 1913, p 3), but not including the one shown in this Archives post. The two gents standing off to the side are from the left are Charles Breshears and Fay Rayburn (chief of the Lents volunteer fire company). The girls are named as follows (but not exactly in the order shown in the VP Archives photo): Marie Hualey, Mary Harbin, Hazel Emery, Florence Lutz, Opal Davis, Frances Ewoldt, Vivian Davis, and Randy Wrisley. Lents had volunteer firefighters in earlier years, but it was not officially incorporated until 4 June 1913 with equipment valued at $500.

    This Lents volunteer fire unit was said to be the second female fire team in the state, the first being organized somewhat earlier in Gresham. They were unique enough to garner a lot of local publicity in that summer of 1913 in connection with annual 4th of July celebrations. The girls shown here traveled with their fire gear to Astoria for that town’s annual regatta and 4th festivities, where they competed with other female firefighting volunteers in three races and other contests. Some of the races involved running for 100 yards while pulling that hose reel and barrel contraption and laying 150 feet of hose. The Lents girls tied for first place in one race and came in second in another; the local papers said this was “a remarkable result” since four of the Lents team members had to drop out due to sprained ankles. After returning home, the girls reportedly started training right away to compete in the 1913 Multnomah Co. fair in Gresham.

  3. Light colored clothing for show? I hope so. A person would look pretty nasty after fighting a fire in those outfits. Also roses are probably Caroline Testouts. Thousands of them in Portland at that time and still around today.

  4. I believe the house in the photo may be what is now a greatly altered 9915 SE Foster Rd. Telltale features include the shape of the rafter tails and the 3-window dormers (street view the rear dormer on present-day SE Henry). It’s possible the original front porch was a casualty of Foster Road paving and expansion.

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