Hillsborough and Orange Rural Fire Department History

Updated August 19, 2018


Change Log

Random edits for clarity, typos, August 19, 2018.
Page created April 7, 2016.


This page presents notes on the history of Hillsboro(ugh) and Orange Rural fire departments. This content originated as blog posting in 2015. Big thanks to Chris Cardwell, for sharing his historical information and helping with research in 2016.

See more HFD and ORFD history on the Orange Rural Fire Department web site.

Pictures and Patches

Hillsboro Fire Department in 1937

Pictured from left to right are (kneeling) Rainey Roberts, Dr. H.W. Moore, Edwin Lynch, Mayor Ben Johnston, Chief George Gilmore; (standing) Marvin (Jug) Walker, Herman Strayhorn, Curtis (Hank) Rhew, Jim Gordon, C.D. (Buck) Knight, Vincent (Chunk) Forrest, Leonard Rosemond, Roger Wilson, Homer Watkins, Seth Thomas, Mitchel Lloyd, George Teer and Harvey Watkins. Click to enlarge:

Courtesy Orange Rural Fire Department

Historical Photos

More pictures, from the early decades of both HFD and ORFD. Click to enlarge:  

Courtesy Orange Rural Fire Department

Early Patches

Circa late 1970s.  Circa mid-1980s.
Both of these patches were used for both HFD and ORFD. 

Station Locations

HFD and ORFD have occupied three locations since 1937:

       First location - Behind 35 N. Churton Street
Built ?
Occupied 1937 to 1947
Shared with Eno Chevrolet, which faced north side of King Street, which was behind a grocery warehouse facing N. Churton Street. Fire truck(s) shared space with repair garage. They were pulled out during day, while business operated, then parked at night. Vacated in 1947, when Eno Chevrolet needed the space for new equipment.
  Second location - 112 W. King Street
Built 1947. Closed 1976.
Erected on empty lot, beside auto repair garage owned by Fire Chief. Western Auto located on other side of lot. Town offices later occupied a building on the site (the auto garage?) until 1974. Both buildings demolished after 1976.
  Third location - 206 S. Churton Street
Built ?
Occupied 1976 to present
Former automobile dealership that was purchased by town for use as fire station. ORFD purchased parking lot beside building. One bay faced Churton Street, and four bays faced parking lot on south side of structure.

Major Milestones











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