by Ruth Rosenberg-Naparsteck and Colleen McGrath
Publisher: Mercury Print Productions, Rochester, NY
The Rochester Protectives: 150 Years of History, takes the reader back a century and a half to a time when the terrified call of “fire!” brought neighbors with buckets in hand. Citizens joined together against the threat of fire and soon formed volunteer departments. As the village grew to become a city, the disorganized, competitive volunteer system caused more harm than good. After a series of serious fires, businessmen demanded professional firemen. The city leaders disbanded the volunteers and reorganized them; creating only two volunteer companies- the Actives and the Protectives. Since that time in 1858, the Protectives, the sole remaining volunteer company, have exemplified the “Good Neighbors.”
This heavily illustrated history contains advertisements, cartoons and century old photographs of buildings, fires and people. The evolution of equipment, women’s rights, the age of invention at the turn of the 20th century and the era of horses and dogs make this book must reading. See the actual entries in the Protectives Run Books in the hand writing of the Protectives the day they answered the calls for help. Read the stories of the early volunteers as they rushed to be first to the fire. Read in real time, the frustrations they experienced, the struggles they faced and the triumphs they celebrated. The reader will come to know the young men who marched off to the battlefields of the Civil War, believing they would return in a few months to fight fires again. Read about young Harry B. Austin who died in the Lamberton Building fire in 1896. His mother’s hand written letter to the Protectives about her only child is heart wrenching. Images of that letter and the hand written minutes of the Protectives as they prepare to lay their member to rest, are printed in this fine book.
Photographs let the reader share the experience as the Protectives endure the same training as the Rochester Firemen. Meet these men and women who carry on the tradition of the earlier generations as they “Strive to Save.”
This is a limited edition, signed, 150th anniversary history of the Rochester Protectives.
Over 300 pages, full color, hard bound with foll color dust jacket.