11/11/07 205 W - + 15 - 15 Charleston

Returning to Raleigh after a week in the Low Country. Recreational visit, with a couple day devoted to exploring and researching former and historic Charleston fire stations. Notable stops included the main branch of the Charleston County Public Library and the archives of the South Carolina Historical Society. Notable resources included city directories (1860s forward), city yearbooks (1880s forward), Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, and a stack of vertical files at the library. The results are being compiled at the above web site, though that may take weeks or longer. Some interesting tidbits about CFD, between 1900 and 1950: They had a marine division for many years. Firefighters utilized one or more tug boats. They used motorcycles for a while to answer still alarms. That is, alarms reported at the fire station. There was a drill tower behind Central Station, built by firefighters. They were partially integrated from the get-go, with black firefighters operating the truck companies. They still had horses in reserve service as late as the 1930s. They kept a "reserve fire station" until the mid 1930s, Old Station 2 on Queen Street. They placed a service truck in service in 1940. They placed a "crash truck" in service in 1944. They had an airport fire station by 1948.

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