Water Witch Restoration

WaterWitch Handtub pumper has gone through a complete restoration over the past 2-½ years.  Built By Howard and Davis in Boston Mass.  In 1859.  The Handtub was photographed piece by piece.  Then we began to take apart WaterWitch in the spring of 2010 and parts that were not visible were photographed and tagged to where they went.  When we removed the tub the real damage was evident that time has taken its toll, on the wooden base there was a rotted section about 3 inches wide by 24 inches long completely through the base, and the uprights were rotted on the bottom sections.  So this set the tone for the restoration.


All paint was removed layer by layer and the final coats were documented and this is the paint color that we painted each individual piece.  The base and uprights were replaced with white oak.  After all pieces were painted and ready we reassembled.  We also disassembled the pump and cleaned all mating surfaces and installed new leathers.


The WaterWitch made its first parade in many years for Bowdoinham’s 250th.  Albeit on a trailer due to wheels being very old but with a grant from Bowdoinham 250th committee we will have new wheels in the rear and totally rebuilt on the front this will enable us to pull the WaterWitch the way it was made to.  The following day at the fire dept we put the WaterWitch through its paces and pumped a stream 160’ not bad for the first time in many years.  I would like to thank the firefighters, Bowdoinham Fire Department association, Bowdoinham 250th committee, and all those that helped along the way for the past 2-1/2 years to make this project happen.


Thank you


Richard T Ellis (Rick)