03/15/12 301 W, 5 I - + 5 - 6 Historic and Former Firehouses of Columbia

With another road trip to Myrtle Beach pending, an exploration of Columbia seemed logical and particularly for finding any historic or former fire stations. With the help of a recent CFD history book, and quite a bit of Google searching, a mere handful have been located. Looks like a number of the older stations were demolished and rebuilt on their same lots. Or they disappeared in the wake of urban renewal and bigger and more buildings downtown.

The monster, eight-bay, Central Fire Station appears still intact, and still has the training tower in back. Looks like development of that building/facility is planned. Old Station 2 on Blanding Street is the former Palmetto Steam Fire Engine Company #2, which was built in 1866 by firefighters and Union troops from chimney bricks left after the great fire of February 17, 1865. It's presently part of an Italian restaurant.

The one-story building at 900 Main Street is a purported old fire station, and more recently an acclaimed (but since closed) pub. Sanborn Maps from 1910 show Station 3 on that block, but a couple buildings to the left. Was this a replacement Station 3? Or just a case of mistaken historical identity? Looks like of small. Old Station 11 is now the fire department's Logistics headquarters. That was the first station staffed with black firefighters.

There are also former county fire stations to be found, such as Old Station 16 in the rear of 952 Lake Murray Boulevard. That building presently serves as a Columbia police substation. Maybe readers can tell more. Or a visit to the local history library there, if it really compels me. Click to enlarge:

Old Station 1 1001 Senate Street Built 1951 Closed 1995
Old Station 2 1213 Blanding Street Built 1866 Closed 1921?
Old Station 11 1901 Harden Drive  Built 1953 Closed 1995
Old Station ? 900 Main Street Built ? Closed ?
Station 7 2622 Main Street Built 1948  

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