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A bit of firehouse history for my fellow nerds

April 3, 2012

“Nerd” in this case is a compliment, mind you.  This isn’t the sixth grade, where your peers make fun of you for reading history books about the Civil War, no sir!  Now we’re in the realm of higher education, where people admire you for reading too much, or pulling away from a book with smudged print on your nose (because sometimes you just like the smell of a good book, okay?).  

The book I may or may not have been smelling this week is Detroit Fire Department 1701-2007, a history of the city’s fire department presented by the Detroit Fireman’s Fund Association, M.T. Publishing Company: Evansville, IN (2007)*.  Yes, I have had my nose in this book for a while.  I’m only going to share a few tidbits with you for now, focusing on our firehouse and the company it housed, Engine 2.

Here’s the first mention of the building, noted in 1857:

And here we have images of Engine 2’s first homes:

(Those guys need to cool it with their ladder antics in the bottom picture.  The guy up next to the steeple is making me especially queasy.)     

And here we have some of the firefighters themselves, along with a more recent picture of our firehouse:

Some of these dates confuse me a bit.  Our firehouse was built in 1857, but apparently Engine 2 didn’t use it until 1918.  So who was using it in the meantime?  Probably the ghost, right? 

The mystery deepens.  Onward and upward with the research!

*We found our copy of the book here: http://olddetroitshop.com/special-promotions.html

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