The Rocks Village Hand Tub House is described in the 1985 Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC) Reconnaissance Survey Town Report as “a combination tub house / meeting hall” from the early industrial period (1830-1870). It resides in the Rocks Village Local Historic District which was listed in the National Register in 1976.
Called a hand tub house because it housed manually operated fire-fighting pump. The building was constructed primarily using Federal stylistic elements, however the window above the fire door on the façade of the building gives the building a slight classical air. This type of tri-part window is known as a Palladian window is most common in classical revival styles. The remaining windows are 9 over 9.
The fire department of East Haverhill is worthy of mention.
Over one hundred years ago this little village had a fire engine, then
quite a novelty, the water had to be pumped into the tub, and then
poured onto the fire; later they had another fire tub as they were
called, and in 1851 they sold the tub, and it went to Hammondsville,
Ill., and the fire engine named “The Tiger” was sent down from the
town center, and is at present the protection against fire for the
village; it is named “Protector No. 3.” This Rocks Village fire
company was made up of the solid men of the town, and they responded
to calls in their own town, and before West Newbury had an engine, if
a fire broke out in that town, a quick run over the bridge, brought
them over as helpers. The company did much of this missionary work
among their neighbors on all sides. (smith)
In 2011 the City of Haverhill received funding from the state historical commission to repair and restore the brick piers and also the buildings masonry. Owned by the City of Haverhill and under stewardship of the Rocks Village Memorial Association, the building does not currently have any permanent function but is occasionally used by the memorial association as a function space and a meeting hall; however the association plans to turn it into a museum and education center.
1827: Town raises money to build engine houses. Rocks Village was built in 1829.
1829, Rocks Village organizes a self governed, self supported call fire company. Haverhill Engine Company #5 (From Haverhill Firefighters Museum)
In 1859, there were six independent fire companies in Haverhill. Protector #3 was in Rocks Village.
In the March 25, 1865 Tri-Weekly Publisher, James Davis sends a card “This subscriber hereby tenders his sincere thanks to the Protector Engine Company for their valuable service in extinguishing the fire which destroyed [his] property on the 20th instant.”
According the Protector #3 account book from 1864-18XX the following are listed
Augustus S. Chase
John R. Estabrook (1866-1867)
John L. Estabrook
Jordan G Getchell
D. L. Getchell
John Jaques (might have been treasurer or secretary)
Charles C. Ramsey
William H Ramsey (look like might have been treasurer)
John B. Nichols Jr.
Albert E. Kenison
John L. Orne
Hazon E. Ordway (son of Theodore and Mary Carr Elliott)
Charles E. Ordway (son of Theodore and Mary Car Elliott)
Thomas G. Orne
James M. Pecker
George S. Stickney
Augustus H. Taylor
In 1872, most were paid 11.00. There was a 1.00 yearly fee. If you left the meeting or skipped a meeting you were fined .25 and .5 respectively.
W. P. Goodwin was paid 25.50 in 1872.
1875 City Expenditures for Haverhill. (pg 57) Included $2000.00 for Protector House and land (pg 91) Protector Engine was sold for $150.00. Protector land and house $1500 page 146. Protector #3 (Rocks Village) page 53. D. D. Chase and Sons for lumber $1.75. page 96. Salaries for Rocks Village page 67. William Jones was paid 21.50 to paint the engine house.
James W. Colby — Cleaning: 12.00
shoveling snow and making fires: 10.00
Hazen Kimball — storing Engine: 16.00
drawing engine to and from fires: 2.00
Charles Smiley — Coal: 18.00
Pay of Men: 572.58
1900 census lists William Goodwin as head of household (wharf lane??) being 64 having been born Apr 1836. Listed as Shoemaker
Maybe: Frederic W. P. GOODWIN was born date unknown. Spouse: Salome COLBY. Frederic W. P. GOODWIN and Salome COLBY were married on 29 OCT 1836 in Amesbury, Essex County, Massachusetts. Frederic W. P., of Newtown, and Salome Colby, int. Oct 29, 1836
Frederic W. P., and Betsy [W. int] Hoyt of Newton, NH, Dec 30, 1840 [Dec 1, 1841 int]*
Some other charges
E. H. Jaques was paid for music at the muster.
Mrs H. Ramsey is paid for uniform by the Protector #3 fire station.
Sept 1864 paid F. F. Maynard for Car(d)
Paid Sawyer and member for Fare at Muster
Paid W. F. Bailey for drawing engine to muster and feeding horses.
Paid Allen Short for drumming
Paid William Sawyer for Fare to muster and drawing engine
July 29, 1872 55.00 was paid for the flag staff
1875: Hand engines were replaced with chemical engines at both Ayers Village and Rocks Village.
1902 Haverhill and Groveland Directory: PROTECTOR NO. 3., Rocks Village, East Haverhill., S. E. Colby, Capt.; W. M. Ramsey, Clerk; Samuel Chapman.
1955: Rocks Village had a motorized engine. It was put into the Hand Tub House and it fell through the floor. In 1955, the present Rocks Village Station was built.