06/08/10 182 W, 1 I - + 15 - 10 Sign in Front of Rescue House

Here's the answer to a reader question, about a banner over an old Raleigh fire station. This is the photo, from the fire horses collection. The thing reads "July 1906 - World's Champion - 28 Seconds - Rescue." The building is the Rescue Company engine house, which was located in the 300 block of Fayetteville Street. It was built in 1870, demolished in 1914, and served as Raleigh's original Station 2. Read more. Or see some old maps.

The sign refers to the fire company winning first place in the horse hose wagon contest, at the 1906 state fireman's tournament in Asheville. They broke what was called a "world's record," though the winning time was probably just the best recorded in the state. (I have never come across validation of the claim as country-wide.)

The Rescue Company competed against horse hose wagons from Asheville, Durham, Goldsboro, Kinston, Raleigh's Capital Hose Company, and Statesville. Read about the tournament, or even view newspaper clippings. As for the sign, did it survive? Alas, unknown. Maybe someday it'll surface. Click to enlarge:

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