North Asheboro Fire Department, Looking Back

We’ve blogged about this former fire department before, back in 2009. Here’s some more information, lately uncovered, and beginning with this vintage photograph. Source is the vertical files in the local history room at the Asheboro Public Library. Written on the back of the is “prior to 1971.” Click to enlarge:

From there, let’s consult the old city directories via DigitalNC. The listings:

  • 1941-42 – No entry.
  • 1947-48 – No entry.
  • 1949-50 – North Asheboro & Central Falls Fire Station, 119 E. Beasley.
  • 1951-52 – North Asheboro Fire Department, Wm F Hughes chief, 119 E. Beasley.
  • 1953-54 – North A’boro Fire Department, Jas P Tatum chief, 119 E. Beasley. Same address also listed for North Asheboro & Central Falls Sanitary District.
  • 1955-56 – North A’boro Fire Department, Jas P Tatum chief, 119 E. Beasley. Same address also listed for North Asheboro & Central Falls Sanitary District.
  • 1957-58 – North Asheboro Fire Department, 119 E. Beasley. Same address listed for North Asheboro & Central Falls Sanitary District.
  • 1960 – North Asheboro & Central Falls Sanitary District, 119 E. Beasley. No entry for fire department.
  • 1962 – North Asheboro & Central Falls Sanitary District, 119 E. Beasley. No entry for fire department.

Beasley Street Today

Below is a current building at 203 E. Beasley Street, at the corner of and facing Hinshaw Street. The front of the building appears to have a slender driveway, and possible a former garage bay. Strong candidate for a former fire station. Click to enlarge:

Tax records say built 1945, on a half-acre parcel. Deeded to the nearby church in 2002, and previously deeded to Attress York in 1995.

Unfortunately, the two structures don’t resemble each other. Did the sanitary district build a newer fire station, with this structure replacing the older one? Could this be a rebuild of the brick building, with the bay location reversed? Good questions!

North Asheboro Fire Department

  • Protected the North Asheboro/Central Falls Sanitary District.
  • Located at 119. E. Beasley Street, by 1951-52.
  • Organized after the 1942 Sanborn map was created for Asheboro, since they’re not shown.
  • Organized by 1945, as they first appear on an NCSFA roster.
     
  • Variants of their name, over the years and decades.
  • Appears in NCSFA rosters as North Asheboro, North Asheboro (Central Falls), and Central Falls.
  • Appears in newspaper articles in 1959 and 1961 as North Asheboro FD.
  • Appears in newspaper articles in 1964, 1965, and 1966 as North Asheboro-Central Falls FD.
  • Also, curiously, “Central Falls” is sometimes spelled “Centrall Falls”
     
  • No such corporate name is listed in state records, either for a fire department or a sanitary district.

Merger with Asheboro 

  • By 1968, discussions had started about merging the sanitary district with the city.
  • In 1970, NAFD merged with Asheboro FD, following the merger of the sanitary district with the city.[1]
  • At the time of the merger, NAFD had a 1962 American LaFrance 750 GPM pumper and the Fire Chief was Wade Lawrence.
  • The fire department was dissolved, and the new fire district was renamed North Asheboro.
  • Many of the NAFD volunteers remained on the list of active volunteers with AFD.
     
  • From 1970 to 1972, Asheboro firefighters protected North Asheboro from a temporary Station 2 on Hinshaw Street.
  • A freestanding metal building was erected to house the fire truck, and a small house beside it was rented for the firemen’s quarters.
  • In January 1972, a permanent Station 2 was occupied at 2105 N. Fayetteville Street.

[1]The annexation of the sanitary district expanded the city limits by one-third, and adding some 5,000 people to the population.

Sources

Primary sources include:

  • City of Asheboro, 2020 Land Development Plan, retrieved from www.asheboronc.gov/government/documents/ldp/2009updatedLDPfinal.pdf
  • The History of Firefighting in Randolph County, newspaper insert from the Courier Tribute, October 8, 1993
  • North Carolina City Directories, via DigitalNC
  • Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, via NCLive
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