Hook and Ladder

Lafayette Cemetery Number 1, New Orleans, Louisiana

Firefighting companies were also known as Hook and Ladder companies.  Hook and Ladder companies got their names from two of the primary tools of their trade.  Ladders, of course, were used to scale walls and reach people who needed to be rescued from upper stories.  Ladders also allowed the firefighters to scale the sides of buildings to get to the roofs to fight fires from above the fire in some cases.  Hooks were simple poles that had a hook attached on the end, to enable the firefighter to punch out a window or for pulling a piece of wall or siding away from a building to see if the fire had breached the interior walls.

A communal tomb was built in the Lafayette Cemetery Number 1 at New Orleans, Louisiana, for the Lafayette Hook & Ladder Company Number 1 in honor of one of their members.  The dedication is centered on top of the communal tomb and features the hook and ladder symbol.

In memory of

JACOB LEININGER

A native of New Orleans

Was drowned in the Mississippi River

April 17, 1865

And Body not recovered

AGED 26 YRS.,

Erected by his Brother Members,

OF LAFAYETTE HOOK & LADDER, Co. No 1

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One Response to Hook and Ladder

  1. MARY KIM SCHRECK says:

    Were other members of this company buried here as well? Sometimes people plan for “communal burials” but it doesn’t work out that way over time….I wonder how many pre-purchased family plots or communal spaces are never filled.

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