01/27/15 385 W, 3 I - + 4 - 6 Bessemer and 10-A Fire Departments, via Vintage Sanborn Maps


Let's take a historical trip to Guilford County, for a pair of former fire department buildings as depicted in Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps. First is the Bessemer Fire Department in northeast Greensboro. They were formed in the early 1940s and were one of the state's first "rural" fire departments. Others included North Asheboro (by 1945), Guilford College also in Greensboro (1946), Seagate in Wilmington (1946), Wilkinson Boulevard in Charlotte (1947), Pleasant Garden near Marion (1948), Pinoca in Charlotte (1949), and Sedge Garden in Winston-Salem (1949).

This annotated image from 1948 depicts the one-story fire station on Elwell Avenue, along with a description of the department: Volunteer with a Chief, Asst. Chief, Captain, and 31 men. One "station man" on duty 24 hours. Apparatus is a 1942 Chevrolet/American pumper, 500 GPM, 200 gallons, with 1000-feet of 2 1/2-inch hose and 300-feet of 3/4-inch hose. Alarms are sounded by telephone. Click once or twice to enlarge:
 

 
The fire station building is still standing, addressed as 610 Elwell Street. Tax records say it's a one-story concrete block commercial build with 2,674 square-feet. Built 1940 with two additions. Effective year of construction 1970. Records of the deeds show that the parcel was purchased by the Bessemer Sanitary District in 1942, and sold to a private owner in 1957. We might infer that the fire department operated no earlier nor later than those years. (They were listed as members of the North Carolina State Firemen's Association from 1945 through 1958, in annual reports.) Click to enlarge:
 


Bing Maps / Mike Legeros photos

Next is the 10-A Fire Department in southwest High Point. They operated from 1955 to 1980 and were originally located on Highway 10-A. Sanborn Maps from 1956 describe the department as "for subscribers only", as volunteer with a chief and 25 firemen, two combination pumper, hose, and booster trucks, and fire alarms by telephone. The fire station was a two-story cinderblock building at 1019 Westchester Road. Click to enlarge:
 

 
After annexation by the city, the fire department relocated some four miles southwest to 1306 Joe Moore Road. That's in Davidson County, just over the county line. The new station was built in 1961. The fire department was reorganized in 1980 and renamed Hasty Fire Department on September 28, 1980. The department is still operating and from that location. The original station on Westchester Drive is gone, and probably long gone.







  
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