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Washington Sq. Engine #2 House, circa 1907
The photo is taken across the street from the Washington Sq. fire station which opened in 1900. The station housed both Station G Engine No. 2 and Hook and Ladder No. 1. Shown is the Amoskeag steam engine. All the houses in the photo are still standing. From left to right:
  • 666 Washington St.
  • Vacant lot where 672/674 1910 Washington St would be constructed in 1910
  • 46 University Ave.
  • 40 University Ave.
  • 676 Washington St.
The tall fire fighter is identified as John F. (“Jack”) Norton. Born in 1872, he had risen by 1898 to the rank of lieutenant and worked at the Village station. He was at one point discharged (for various infractions and “intoxication”), but in 1902 the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled in his favor in his lawsuit against the town to receive back wages withheld at the time of his discharge. In 1905, there was a vacancy in the department when Frank Foster resigned from the force to pursue his business interests. The Fire Commissioner, Burton W. Neal, was then lobbied by supporters of Jack Norton and Neal was reinstated Norton with a position at Station G. where he worked until 1908 as a ladderman. Norton lived in Brookline with his widowed mother, never married, and died in 1910 at the age of 38.

[ref. Brookline Chronicle, pg.4, May 24, 1902]
[ref. Brookline Chronicle, pg.5, July 7, 1905]
[ref. Brookline Chronicle, pg.7, July 8, 1905]

[Courtesy of the Digital Commonwealth (CC BY-NC-ND). From the Brookline Photograph Collection published by the Public Library of Brookline]