1859 December 31 - Tuolumne Engine Co. No. 1 has their first Annual New Year's Ball at Cardinell's Theatre. They continue these Balls for forty years.
1860 - James McClean was the first chief of Engine Company Two, went to San Francisco to purchase "Monumental." She weighed over 5,000 pounds. She was so heavy, in fact, that during the response to a fire in 1861, Udo Von Keller slipped while grabbing the rope to assist moving the engine and was crushed beneath the wheels. Her size proved unsuited to the hills of San Francisco and she was sold for $2,500, about a third of the original cost. The funds for her purchase were again raised by the ladies of the town. Engine Company Two elected to remain an independent organization, not joining the city fire department until 1868. (Major fires would ravage the town in 1860, 1861, 1865, 1866, 1885, and 1920, but due to the efforts of the two companies, the town would never again be a total loss.)
1860 January 7 - second engine named "Columbia No. 2", arrives in Bensonville and is housed in Hughes Barn. Later brought to town and set up at Alvin Evan's Stable at the southeast corner of Columbia and Jackson Streets. (1860, January 7th: The Torboss engine was sold to the Columbia Volunteer Fire Department for $2,500 - Source: Frank Soule, John H. Gihon, M.D., and James Nisbet. The Annals of San Francisco. 1855: San Francisco)
1860 January - the hand engine was sold to Columbia, California for $2,500 (local history states $2000), and a new engine company, Columbia Engine Co. No. 2, was organized.
1860 February 22 - Tuolumne No. 1 and Columbia No. 2 demonstrated in Sonora to the delight of the Sonorans who did not yet have an engine.
1860 May 23 - Columbia No. 2 is removed to C. Humbert's building on the west side of Main Street, two doors above Jackson.
1911 - The "Monumental" remained in service when Columbia Engine Co. No. 1 and Tuolumne Engine Co. No. 1 merged and it was placed in reserved status.
1970 The handpump was restored under the direction of Robert Fries, the fire chief of the Sierra Conservation Center in nearby Jamestown, California
1991 - Shown displayed on Columbia's Washington Street during a muster. (see image below)
2003 The Columbia Volunteer Fire Department gave it a cosmetic overhaul.
Although it has not competed in California Firemen's Muster Association musters, it can be pumped, but with only two of its cylinders in service at this time.
The "Monumental" is displayed in the Columbia Volunteer Fire Department's old station on Main Street in the California State Park.
Most of the information for the above historical sketch came form the reasearch of Richard Yokley and Ed Hass.
This page is created for the benefit of the public by
Floyd D. P. Oydegaard