The Peterborough Fire Department was founded in 1856. The Peterborough Fire Company first consisted of 66 members, and was originally named Aquarius Engine Co. No. 3, later changing its name to Aquarius No. 1, as there was no 1 or 2 at that point.
After many unsuccessful meetings in 1855 and 1856 to attempt to establish a fire department and purchase an engine for the town buildings as well as the outlying farms, a group of 111 individuals joined forces under the leadership of Colonel Charles Scott to purchase their own fire engine from their own personal funds.
The town finally accepted the monies pledged by subscription of the 111 individuals, and after a careful search purchased the Aquarius No. 1 fire engine 'and apparatus therefore'. The machine was manufactured by L. Button & Son of Waterford, New York. The machine arrived on August 8th, 1856 at about the same time that a company was organized under the Town Selectmen.
It wasn't long after the Aquarius was purchased that she was involved in competition with the neighboring towns, and eventually larger musters outside the state. The traditional muster started in the early part of the 1800s when different Tub companies would brag about how good their hand-tubs were, causing disagreements which had to be settled!
Since 1998 Peterborough Fire/Rescue has worked on restoring its 1914 American LaFrance Model 10 Chemical Truck. This truck is probably the most original example in the world.
The Peterborough Fire Rescue Association operates the Aquarius No.1 Fire Museum, which is located beside the Peterborough Fire Station. This museum houses equipment used in the Town of Peterborough. The museum may be visited whenever the station is manned, Sunday mornings or by appointment.