Jan. 4, 1852
11 in HIGH x 8.5 in WIDE
(27.94 cm HIGH x 21.59 cm WIDE)
San Francisco
Gift of Mrs. Helen de la M. Vose & Mrs. Ralph Newell, Vose

Certificate of membership issued to Mathew de la Montanya. Mathew de la Montanya by Protection Fire Engine Co. #2, San Francisco, California, Jan. 4, 1852. From the History Information Station: Object: Certificate of membership, M. De La Montanya; Badge #16, M. de la Montanya. History: Between Christmas Eve, 1849 and June, 1851, San Francisco experienced six serious fires. The "Great Fire of 1851" destroyed much of the city center. Although the first fire engine had arrived from New York in December, 1849, the first formal fire department was created in July, 1850. Numerous other volunteer fire brigades were quickly formed thereafter. Matthew De La Montanya came from New York State to California in 1850. This is his certificate of membership in the Protection Fire Company, one of the first fire stations in the city. After moving across the bay to Oakland, he joined the Phoenix Fire Company, and in 1877 was elected Fire Chief. While serving as Chief, he ordered the installation of Oakland's first fire alarm boxes.
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