Engine 13 was organized March 15, 1871 at 1413 Brown Street. They were housed in the station formerly occupied by the Mechanic Fire Company. The station was rented from the former volunteer company. Rent paid for 1871 was $687.50.

The original company roster was as follows:
Foreman John A. Mecke
Engineer Thomas J. Carroll
Driver William B. Brewster
Fireman Charles S. Williams
Hoseman George W. Large
Hoseman William Reble
Hoseman Edward Auble
Hoseman Edward Barnes
Hoseman John A. Stuart
Hoseman Frederick C. Fox
Hoseman John Beers
Hoseman Edward A. Walker

Mrs. Lafferty was the company matron.

The first engine assigned to Engine 13 was an 1865 Amoskeag 2nd size (900 gpm) steamer. This was purchased from the Mechanic Fire Company for $2800.00. This steamer was replaced in 1873 by a new John L. Knowlton 2nd size steamer. During 1887 this piece was reassigned to Engine 27.

Engine 13 moved to a new station located at 1431 Brown Street during 1880. In 1903 the company moved to 1517 Parrish Street. This house was vacated in 1952 when Engine 13 moved to a new station at 1541 Parrish Street. When the new addition to the firehouse was added in 1970 (the current apparatus bays), the apparatus floor of 1541 Parrish Street was converted into the bunk room.

Ladder 1 was moved from 2132 Fairmount Avenue to Engine 13’s station on December 20, 1954. However, Ladder 1 was disbanded on January 15, 2009.

For over 146 years, Engine 13 has been protecting the residents of lower North Philadelphia.

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