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Who Has The Oldest Firehouse?

The Key is "Continuous Service"

OUR FRIENDS IN MANISTEE, MICHIGAN, have a challenge out to see if anyone works in a fire station that is older than theirs and has been in continuous service since it was built.  They are certain that theirs is the oldest in the state of Michigan, but want to know how they rank nationally.

The Manistee fire station was built in 1888 and has been operated by the FD for the entire 125 years since then.  The department was organized in 1869.

Firegeezer believes that there are older firehouses in some of the large cities in the East, but they have not been continuously in operation all that time.

So, what do you think?  Got any nominations for #1?  If so, post them in the Comments or send us an email with the particulars.

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Comments - Add Yours

  • Chris

    Washington Fire Company #2, Madison, IN, 1848, same firehouse ever since. One of 6 all volly companies in the Ohio River town.

    • Grant Mishoe, SConFire.com

      I have a large list of firehouses and their build dates to answer this very question. Chris is correct! The Washington Fire Company #2 is the oldest I have found so far. There are numerous firehouses that are older but alas have NOT been in continuous service.

  • Pete Lamb

    Bill the station where I started as a young volunteer and then as a career guy was formed in 1887 with the building finished in 1889. Continuously operated as a working station, still in service today.

    http://www.pvhistorian.com/harris2.jpg
    Link to photo here.

    I don’t win but close……

    • firegeezer

      Pete added this update to his pic:

      The Harris fire department (formerly Phenix fire department) located in the town of Coventry RI.
       
      The station literally is the town line between West Warwick and Coventry, and the Phenix FD was part of the town of West Warwick when it started so it is even more unique that it served two towns.
  • Guest

    Buffalo Engine 19 Built in 1887

    • fyrmanfred

      Actually this station was built in 1888. I know as I grew up in Syracuse and my brother lives in Buffalo. This station is located at 209 Forest Ave at the corner of Hawley and if my brother is correct it stores reserve apparatus and equipment.

  • Brian S

    Buffalo Engine 19 Built in 1887

  • http://www.facebook.com/greg.halpin.9 Greg Halpin

    York City PA
    Laurel / Rex Fire Station
    Built for hand -drawn equipment in 1877
    Still operating

  • http://www.facebook.com/alan.w.rose Alan W. Rose
  • http://twitter.com/firehat firehat

    FDNY’s Engine 5 is quartered in a house dating to the Civil War, if I recall.

  • Legeros

    There are some close candidates in the big cities, presuming continuous service…

    Chicago – 1125 N. Ashland Avenue – Built 1881 – E30
    Chicago – 1618 W. 33rd Place – Built 1886 – E39
    Baltimore – 1908 Hollins Street – Built 1888 – E14

    Slide into the 1890s and you’ll find more old-old stations still running.

    mjl

  • Jason Strunk

    Lowell Massachusetts Engine 1 on Gorham St. Built in 1875 and in continuous operation. The station has been added on to and rehabbed but is still an active company.

    • Jason Strunk

      Modern View of Lowell Engine 1 after 1908 addition and 1930′s rehab.

  • exdutchman

    The American Hose Company (Co #70) of the Pottsville, PA FD The cornerstone of the building was laid on September 9, 1876. From what I understand, it is currently still occupied.

  • firegeezer

    Thanks everybody for your submissions, esp. the photos that some of you attached. There will probaby be a few more suggestions sent in, and then I will compile a list.
    Bill Schumm – Firegeezer

  • WFD

    Winfield KS 1886, Has been renovated, but still occupied.

    • firegeezer

      Thanks Winfield!  All of them have been renovated, so no problem there.

      Do you have a photo you can send?

      Firegeezer

  • SFD66

    The station I work at in Salem,Ma was built in 1881 and was untouched by the great fire of 1914. We have been told it is the third oldest continuously operational firehouse in the nation

    • firegeezer

      Thanks!  Do you have an pics, old or new (of both) that you can share?  Email them to me at:  geezerguys (at) yahoo (dot) com.

  • Mike Paulo

    I work at the City of Shelby, Ohio Fire Dept. Fulltime and this Dept. started in 1872

    • firegeezer

      Is that the year that your fire station was built, and is it still in use as a firehouse?  We are looking for the oldest stations still in use.