Firefighters Memorial

1100 Mt Hope Ave
Rochester, NY 14620, US

Category: Labor Markers & Monuments

Used in the following map:

Rochester Labor History eMap

Mt. Hope Cemetery was established in 1836. A Firefighters’ memorial was dedicated in the “new” part of Mt. Hope cemetery on September 9, 1880. The 50-foot monument was chiseled entirely by Rochester workers and features an 8 foot, 9 inch figure of a firefighter at the top. All of the city’s firefighters attended the dedication along with visitors from other communities. The first Rochester firefighter killed on the job was Thomas Rathbun who was killed by a falling chimney at a paper-mill fire on December 21, 1827. Early firefighters fought many severe blazes: the 1858 destruction of the south side of Main Street from St. Paul to Stone Streets, the tragic fire at the Steam Gauge and Lantern Works at the Upper Falls in 1888 where 34 died, the 1901 fire at the orphan asylum where 31 children died, and the conflagration of 1904 which destroyed the dry goods district on East Main Street. Fire fighting in Rochester became a paid, instead of volunteer, job in 1862.