Reporting from the road. One of the oldest towns in North Carolina is the coastal city of Edenton. They've been served by a fire department since at least 1904. They've had a water system and fire hydrants since about 1904. Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps provide a peek into the early history of the Edenton Fire Department, and its many different firehouses, hose houses, and hook and ladder houses over the decades. View these maps (pre-1927) on the North Carolina Maps web site, or the complete set via the Wake County Library research databases, if you have a county library card. Click through to the second page of this post for a few map images and a couple photographs.
|Map Date||Fire House Location(s)||Fire Equipment/Department Description||Number of Map Sheets|
|Apr. 1885||None||No fire equipment indicated.||One.|
|Aug. 1893||None||No fire equipment indicated.||Three.|
|Feb. 1898||Hook and ladder house on north side of county jail.||Hand-drawn hook and ladder truck, eight iron pails. Water facilities categorized as "not good."||Five.|
|Jan. 1904||Hook and ladder house on north side of county jail.||Volunteer of fifty men. One hook and ladder truck. 1,500-feet 2 1/2-inch hose on three reel carts to distributed when [water] plant is installed. Alarm by bell on court house. Thirty-eight double hydrants being installed.||Eight.|
All buildings presumed demolished.
|Volunteer. Three companies of eight men each. Three hose reels with 350 2 1/2-inch hose each, located in different parts of town. 300-feet extra hose. One hook and ladder truck. Fire alarm given by bell at courthouse and by whistle at electric light station. Thirty-one double hydrants. Domestic pressure 32 pounds per square inch. Fire pressure 110 pounds per square inch.||Thirteen.|
|Aug. 1920||Five buildings.
Same as above, with addition of engine house beside hose house on southeast corner of S. Broad and E. Church streets. Housed chemical engine.
All buildings presumed demolished.
|Volunteer. Three companies of eight men each. Three hose reel carts with 300 feet 2 1/2-inch hose on each. One supply cart with 250 feet 2 1/2-inch hose. One 40-gallon chemical engine. Colored hook and ladder company with truck and 60-feet of ladders. Fire alarm by bell at courthouse and whistle at water works. Forty-nine double hydrants. Gravity pressure 40 pounds. Direct pressure 110 pounds.||Fourteen.|
|Jan. 1927||One building at 300 Water Street.
One-story building housing fire department an auto-repair shop, as well as other space in the rear including warehouse.
Still standing, the fire station/repair shop section. Houses a pair of stores.
|Volunteer, one chief and sixteen men, all partly paid. One fire station, no one on duty, with Reo truck with Foamite-Childs Corporation equipment: one Northern pumper, 350 GPM, with 40-gallon chemical tank with 150-feet chemical hose, two 2 1/2-gallon chemical extinguishers, 1,200-feet 2 1/2-inch hose. Hook and ladder and 400 feet 2 1/2-inch hose on hand reel in reserve. Alarm is phone into power house where whistle is blown for location of fire, and siren is sounded for general alarm. Fire station is located in a commercial garage where members of fire department are employed in day time only, but are not on duty with fire department until called. Sixty-five double hydrants. Domestic pressure 40 pounds per square inch. Fire pressure 100 pounds per square inch.||Seventeen.|
|Oct. 1943||One building at 404 S. Broad Street
Two-story combination town office and fire department.
Building no longer standing.
Presumably relocated in 1966 to present fire station location at 704 N. Broad Street.
|One chief, one driver, and sixteen men, partly paid. One fully-paid driver. One station. One American LaFrance 1,000 GPM pumper with 80 gallon booster tanker, 200-feet booster hose, and 1,000-feet 2 1/2-inch hose. One Reo-Childs 350 GPM pumper with 40 gallon chemical tank, 150-feet chemical hose, and 750-feet 2 1/2-inch hose. [Plus] 1,500-feet of extra 2 1/2-inch hose. Alarm by telephone and siren. Sixty-four hydrants. Domestic and fire pressure 40 and 100 pounds, respectively.||Seventeen.|
Sanborn Map, 1910.
Sanborn Map, 1920.
Sanborn Map, 1927.
300 Water Street today.
Sanborn map, 1920.
Current fire station, 704 N. Broad Street.