ENGINE 6, Manhattan

by Kevin Walsh

An old-school gold and black Manhattan Beekman Street street sign is mounted in front of a fire engine belonging to the Engine 6 firehouse in lower Manhattan. Such signs were used between 1964 and the mid-1980s.

The company was reorganized in 1846 as “Americus” and elected William “Boss” Tweed of Tammany Hall as its first foreman. By this time Engine No. 6 was popularly known as “Tiger” due to a tiger’s head painted as part of the decoration on the back of the engine. Thomas Nast later used the tiger in his political cartoons as a symbol for Tammany Hall. The company also adopted the tiger as its symbol.

The firehouse is located at 49 Beekman Street.



Steven G. January 10, 2014 - 12:36 am

I wouldn’t be surprised if that “BEEKMAN ST” is the exact one that was on auctioned on EBay a couple of months ago.

Al Tz January 13, 2014 - 9:23 am

Actually, FDNY Engine 6 evolved from volunteer Engine 6 which was on Cedar Street. FD moved Engine 6 to Liberty Street in 1905, then closed the house in 1970 for WTC construction.

At that time, Engine 6 moved into the house with Engine 32 on Beekman to allow for WTC construction. In 1972 Engine 32 was disbanded, leaving Engine 6 at 49 Beekman,

PCNY Mike January 20, 2014 - 9:21 pm

Actually, the current Engine Co. No. 6 traces its’ lineage to Washington Engine Co. No. 20 ( 100 Cedar St.) not to Americus Engine Co., No. 6 (269 Henry St.) which was reorganized as Engine Co. No. 15 . At the reorganization of the New York Fire Department into the Metropolitan FD the only company to retain its’ original number, quarters, officers and a smaller group of members was Mutual Hook & Ladder Co. No. 1 at 28 Chambers St.
It’s amazing to think but the City of New York ( Manhattan only) was protected by the largest and finest volunteer fire department in the world up until September of 1865 consisting of 55 engine companies, 62 hose companies and 18 hook and ladder companies all commanded by a volunteer Chief Engineer and 15 Assistant Engineers. All that and contrary to popular myth it was actually very well run and extremely well organized with only rare occurrences of the rowdyism that occurred in Philadelphia or Baltimore.

W.B. October 6, 2014 - 11:06 pm

The “BEEKMAN ST” sign shown on that engine may well have been from the 1969-71 set of signs produced.

Michael F Gerardi July 2, 2019 - 2:07 pm

I am the grandson of FF John W Greves. He was a member of Engine Co. 6 back in the 1940’s. The last time I visited the house I was asked for a photo of my grandfather so he could be enshrined in the FF Hall of Fame. I did send the photo. I would like to purchase Engine 6 T shirts like I did several years ago but I am unable to find them on line. I went to the house on Beekman St. yesterday, July 1, 2019, but no one was there. Can you please help me.
Mike Gerardi
(Grandson of John W Greves)


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