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Saturday, January 19, 2013 - Page updated at 09:30 a.m.
Now & Then
Firefighters from Georgetown, ca. 1903
Special to The Seattle Times
FROM THE PRINTING on their helmets, we can tell that these are volunteers of the Georgetown Fire Department. And we can easily discover that all are posing at the corner of Pike Street and Seventh Avenue — the street names are signed on the power pole.
But it’s not as easy to tell when the photo was taken. With help from Ron Edge and Margaret Fickeisen — checking calendars, directories, maps and such — we think it is from 1903. By then, Pike Street was already the north end’s “Main Street.” The “why” for this pause-to-pose is most likely a parade. Notice, far right, the bunting on the hose wagon’s big wheel.
It is very likely most of these men were also employees of Georgetown’s Rainier Brewery. Their leader is posing with two children at the corner. He is distinguished by his white helmet, on which is printed “captain.” Appearing again but alone, the captain was snapped a half block west on Pike Street posing in front of a sidewalk billboard promoting the two-day visit of the Ringling Brothers Circus to Seattle on Aug. 19 and 20.
Both photographs — the one shown and the other described — were copied from Henry J. Fickeisen’s photo album, which was shared with us by his son, Frank, whose grandfather, Carl W. Fickeisen, opened a bakery in Georgetown in the 1890s.
Both the baker and his son were members of the brewery town’s volunteer fire brigade. A young Henry has been identified posing here on Pike with the other volunteers. The teenager is the second uniformed figure from the right. Both the trumpet he holds in his right hand and his clean face distinguish him.
Check out Paul Dorpat and Jean Sherrard’s blog at www.pauldorpat.com.
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