This photo was taken at the Concord Museum....
Here are two fire buckets I saw, and Vincent photographed them because of the name "William Munroe", my distant cousin in Concord, Massachusetts. In the old days, before organized fire fighting departments, each family had a fire bucket by the front door. It was full of sand or water, depending on the season, and would be borrowed or brought to a fire in the neighborhood for a "bucket brigade". The names painted on the buckets insured that each family would receive his proper bucket again after the fire incident.
It wasn't until after Vincent took the photo that we noticed the other bucket was labeled "J. Thoreau". This was John Thoreau, father to the famous writer, Henry David Thoreau, and neighbor to William Munroe.
There is a research strategy in genealogy called "FANs" where one studies the friends, acquaintances, and neighbors in order to understand the family history of an ancestor, or to perhaps break down a brick wall in your research. Finding the names of these FANs in censuses, city directories, tax lists, manuscripts and maps is the usual route. Finding their fire buckets in a museum is unique! In the old days we used to call FANs "cluster research".
For more photographs of scenes around Concord concerning Thoreau, please see Barbara Poole's blog post "Some of Henry David Thoreau's Houses" at this link:
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Copyright (c) 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo