Marysville Foundry, Marysville, CA

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The first foundry and machine shop in Marysville, CA was established in 1852 by Stombs, Daggett and Co. The firm soon became known as the Marysville Foundry. The foundry's main business was the building of steam engines and casting of monitors and other fittings for hydraulic gold miners and they weren't particularly known for their fire hydrants. They only produced hydrants for a couple of western communities.

The City of Marysville was the third largest City in early Califoria and had the second oldest fire department. The city contracted for the Marysville Foundry to build fire hydrants that could be supplied by the city's redwood water main system. The Fire Chief, observing the technologies used by the hydraulic miners, specified that the new hydrants be equipped with 4 inch outlets to which the city's steam fire engine could directly connect with its drafting hose. Since there were no existing specifications for steamer ports, the foundry designed its own thread pitch that became known as "Marysville thread."

This circa 1866 hydrant was one of the first produced in Marysville. It has a yoke type packing for the operating nut. The flood valve seats at the bottom of the hydrant head. The riser tapers from 6" to 4" at the bury,

It is likely the oldest steamer port hydrant in the western US.

The early redwood mains didn't produce much water so there was no need for the valves to open very far. This view shows the extent of the rise in the valve, barely halfway up the nozzle!

Later productions such as this 1870s model used a nut type stem packing that was more stable and the internal stem guide and valve carrier were more refined, allowing the hydrant to fully open.

The hydrants still came with "Marysville thread" on the 4" steamer port and iron pipe taper on the hose port. Adapters were later used on the hose outlets converting them to national hose thread.
A court order banned hydraulic mining in 1884 and the foundry moved to San Francisco. The City of Marysville had Rensselaer Valve of Troy, New York, build hydrants to its specifications which produced a hydrant that was a bit different from Rensselaer's normal configuration. Hydrant #0589 is an example of this "special order."

As the nearby cities of Sacramento and Yuba City were also purchasing hydrants from Rensselaer, Marysville eventually ordered Rensselaer hydrants of conventional configuration, equipped of course with 4" Marysville thread steamer ports.

The hydrants shown on this page are part of the Willis Lamm Collection. It is believed that one original Marysville hydrant is still in active service and we will try to obtain an image of it.

For the full story on Marysville's hydrants, click HERE!

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