04/08/08 300 W - + 12 - 10 Building the Smokehouse


When was the smokehouse at the Keeter Training Center built? The range of dates has never been a mystery. On August 21, 1961, the Raleigh City Council was informed that firefighters had performed the demolition of old Station 5 on Park Drive, that they saved the city a considerable amount of money by performing the work themselves, and that the bricks would be used to build a smokehouse behind the training tower. In August 1964, a photo of the smokehouse appeared in the Raleigh Times. It was operational, being used for a firemanís school. The photo showed an apparently completed building, with two stories and a roof.

But when was it actually built? .

County real estate records say 1965. One retiree remembers it still not built when he started in September 1962. Sundry skimming of newspaper articles from summer 1963 found nothing. Nor was anything indexed in the City Council minutes from those years.

But what about the station log books? Not surprisingly, the answer was right there:

(Tuesday) March 24, 1964
[8:00 a.m.] Eng #1 & Truck #1 went to tower to clean bricks. 4 hours.
1:00 p.m. Eng #1 & Truck l #1 went [back] to drill tower to clean bricks. Returned to station at 4:30 p.m.

(Sunday) March 29, 1964
9:00 a.m. Eng #10 went to tower to dig footing for smoke house.
12:00 p.m. Eng #10 return to quarters.
1:00 p.m. Eng #10 went back to tower to pour cement footing for smoke house.
3:30 p.m. Eng #10 return to quarters.

(Thursday) May 7, 1964
8:15 p.m. Eng #10 working at drill tower.
11:50 a.m. Eng. #10 returned to quarters.
1:00 p.m. Eng. #1 working at drill tower.
4:15 p.m. Eng. #1 returned to quarters.

(Wednesday) May 27, 1964
8:00 a.m. Eng #1 & Eng #10 went to drill tower for 3 hours this morning.

(Monday) August 3, 1964
9:00 a.m. Eng #1 went to drill tower and drilled in smoke house on use of breathing equipment.

Mystery solved.

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