07/02/08 517 W - + 11 - 6 Random RFD History

News & Observer, August 14, 1932. Memorial Auditorium dedicated that day. Beneath the stage is a fire station, which saves the city cost of an additional building to replace Station 2 on South Salisbury Street. Has room for two trucks, and sleeping quarters for both officers and firefighters. The presence of the fire station also adds a 24-hour watchman service to the auditorium, which also saves the city money. Unknown how long this practice was practiced. Probably decades. One side of the (interior?) stage wing is designed for use as a drill tower, for firefighters to practice scaling the sides of tall buildings. Station 2 was pretty much the training location, until the tower was built in 1954.News & Observer, April 4, 1942.

New fire alarm switchboard installed. The switchboard is "completely automatic" unlike the manual switchboard it replaced. Meaning, I believe, some person performed the switching of incoming fire alarm box signals. All hours, all days. It's housed in a "small fireproof building near the Union Depot, and near where the new central [fire] station is to be built." The city building inspectors says the $13,900 switchboard is the only one of its kind in the state. And it should be sufficient to handle 50 or 60 years of city growth. The building, later called the alarm house, "has room to house the fire department's emergency truck and a shop to repair traffic signals."

The truck room explains the garage door that's still there today. The "emergency truck" may refer to the "auxiliary truck" that the fire department started using in the 1940s. This was a light truck equipped with a small pump, tank, hose, and other equipment. Was same "stationed" at the alarm house? Or just parked there? Unknown.

City minutes, January 23, 1926. Bids are read for construction of a "Fire Alarm Station" adjacent to Station 1 on West Morgan Street. The award to J. N. Bryan amounts to $1,632.50, which includes all labor, materials, and work as shown in the drawings and described in the specifications. Does this mean an earlier alarm house existed, behind the earlier Station 1? It appears so.

News & Observer, August 13, 1941. Personnel complete the transfer of equipment from Station 1 on West Morgan Street to old Station 2 on South Salisbury Street. Engine 1 is moved, and will share the Salisbury Street facility with Engine 2. They've been displaced from Memorial Auditorium, which isn't big enough to accommodate the two ladder trucks AND the engine. The new Station 1 will also house the "central telephone exchange" covering all fire stations. Ten firemen are housed in the facility, including two switchboard operators.

The article also notes that W. B. Barrow & Sons Contractors has started work on building the "signal system house" on South Dawson Street. The future alarm will include "window frames and other materials salvaged" from old Station 1. Unknown if those materials are salvaged from the station proper (built 1896) or the alarm house behind the station (built 1926).

Take a look at the alarm house some time. The first floor bricks look particularly old.

If I wanted to take a trip around Raleigh looking at historical fire dept. ( or related ) sites/buildings, where would I go?
marriedtothefireservice - 07/04/08 - 20:23

Here’s a guide, http://www.legeros.com/history/stations/..

Here’s a map, http://www.legeros.com/ralwake/raleigh/h..
Legeros - 07/04/08 - 20:25

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