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Then and Now #12: Dunn to Pinehurst Fire Departments

Harnett, Lee, Moore, Richmond, Scotland counties

Welcome to a feature where historian Mike Legeros presents early twentieth-century summaries of North Carolina fire departments as recorded by the Sanborn Map Company for their fire insurance maps. In addition to detailed information about streets, buildings, and water supplies, the cartographers also recorded fire protection information including personnel, apparatus, and alarm systems.

"Hand tubs" made their first appearance as early as 1785, when a pair of hand-powered fire engines were delivered to Salem. The smaller pump was carried by hand, and could be carried inside some doorways or between buildings. The larger pump was wheeled and pulled by hand for exterior firefighting.

Dozens of hand engines were later delivered throughout North Carolina. In some places, they were upgraded over several decades. In Raleigh, hand engines were delivered in 1819, 1840, 1851 (two), and 1875.

Other departments that operated hand pumps include Beaufort, Belhaven, Charlotte, Clayton, Elizabeth City, Enfield, Fayetteville, Graham, Greensboro, Greenville, Henderson, Hickory, Laurinburg, Lenoir, Milton, Morehead City, Plymouth, Salisbury, Smithfield, Southern Pines, Tarboro, Warrenton, Washington, Wilmington, and Winston.


Carthage Fire Department in earlier decade. Courtesy Carthage Fire Department

Carthage, Moore County
February 1915

Volunteer. Three companies of 12 men each and Chief. Three hose houses at 115-116 Courthouse Square, 38-39 Monroe Street, and 125 McReynolds Street. Three hand hose reels with 500 feet 2 1/2-inch cotton rubber-lined hose each. One hook and ladder truck. Alarm by bell on water tower. Population 1,600.

Today
One fire station, seven pieces of fire apparatus, one career member, two part-time members, and 28 volunteer members protecting 113 square miles. Population 2,177.

Dunn, Harnett County
August 1913

Volunteer. One Chief and 28 men. Fire station under water tank, behind 103-105 West Broad Street. Three hand hose carts. 1,000 feet cotton rubber-lined hose in good condition, 500 feet cotton rubber-lined hose in other condition. Population 2,500.

Today
Two fire stations, seven pieces of fire apparatus, five career members, and 23 part-time members protecting 40 square miles. Population 9,816.

Hamlet, Richmond County
August 1920

Volunteer. One Chief, one driver, and ten men. Fire and police station at 108 West Raleigh Street: One American LaFrance 90 HP automobile combination hose wagon with 1,200 feet 2 1/2-inch hose, 40-gallon chemical tank, one 24-foot extension ladder, one 12-foot extension ladder, scaling ladders, and two three-gallon chemical extinguishers, one Pyrene. One hose reel with 500 feet 2 1/2-inch hose. Hose house at 219 East Raleigh Street: One hose reel with 500 feet 2 1/2-inch hose. 500 feet 2 1/2-inch hose in reserve in fair condition. Fire alarm by whistle and phone. Population 5,000.

Today
One fire station, seven pieces of fire apparatus, 12 career members, and 15 part-time members protecting approximately 50 square miles. Population 5,837.

Laurinburg, Scotland County
April 1914

Volunteer, 12 men and Chief. Fire station at 105 1/2 Atkinson Street: One one-horse hose wagon with 1,000 feet 2 1/2-inch hose and ladders. One hose reel with 500 feet 2 1/2-inch hose. 500 feet extra hose. Hose house on McCoy Street between 1st and 2nd streets: One hose reel with 500 feet 2 1/2-inch hose. Alarm by telephone and whistle at pumping station. Population 2,500.

Today
Two fire stations, six pieces of fire apparatus, six career members, four part-time members, and 28 volunteer members protecting 72 square miles. Population 15,977.

Pinehurst, Moore County
September 1920

One fully-paid chief and driver, and 12 volunteers. Fire station and laundry building behind powerhouse on Magnolia Road: One White / Foamite-Childs 80 HP automobile combination hose wagon with 1,000 feet 2 1/2-inch hose, 200 feet chemical hose, 40-gallon chemical tank, and two chemical extinguishes. One Ford automobile hose wagon with 500 feet 2 1/2-inch hose and four 2 1/2-gallon chemical extinguishers. Population 500 (summer), 8,000 (winter).

Today
Two fire stations, twelve pieces of fire apparatus, and 29 career members protecting 13.2 square miles. Population 11,026.

Rockingham, Richmond County
March 1918

Volunteer, eight men. Fire station at 107 Hancock Street. One Ford automobile hose wagon with two Pyrene extinguishers and 20-foot extension ladder. Three hose reels. 1,100 feet 2 1/2-inch hose total. Population 5,000.

Today
Two fire stations, seven pieces of fire apparatus, 15 career members and 15 volunteer members protecting 17 square miles. Population 9,484.


Sanford Hose Company No. 1, circa 1910

Sanford, Lee County
March 1915

Volunteer, one company, 30 members. Two horses. Fire station in City Hall in 200 block of Charlotte Avenue. Two hose wagons, one reserve. 1,500-feet 2 1/2-inch cotton rubber-lined hose in good condition. Fire alarm bell on City Hall. Population 3,000.

Today
Three fire stations, eight pieces of fire apparatus, 51 career members, and four part-time members protecting 25.41 square miles. Population 25.864.


Southern Pines Reel Company No. 1 parading in 1915

Southern Pines, Moore County
April 1915

One volunteer company, 30 men. Fire station facing alley behind 209 1/2 Broad Street. Two hose carts. One hook and ladder truck. One hand engine in reserve. 1,500 feet 2 1/2-inch cotton rubber-lined hose in fair condition. Chemical cart with two 35-gallon tanks pending. Alarm by bell at fire station. Population: 600 (summer), 2,000 (winter).

Today
One fire station, eight pieces of fire apparatus, 22 career members, and 16 volunteer members protecting 33 square miles. Population 11,794.

More Photos


Southern Pines firefighters in late 1910s. Photo courtesy North Carolina State Archives


Sanford's 1925 American LaFrance pumper in present day. Courtesy Sanford Fire Department


Southern Pines apparatus and personnel in 1927. Courtesy Southern Pines Fire Department


Southern Pines Fire Department in 1929. Courtesy Southern Pines Fire Department


Sanford police and fire department with new 1939 fire engine

Map

Why Isn't Your City or Town Listed?

Sanborn Fire Insurance maps are available online from NC LIVE for 162 communities in 83 of North Carolina's 100 counties. Most cities and towns were surveyed several times over several decades between the 1880s and the 1950s. Of those maps in the public domain, copyright 1922 or earlier, only 100-some communities in 64 counties had fire equipment or fire departments. See the link below to view later-era maps including the towns of Aberdeen (Moore), Duke (Harnett), Gibson (Scotland), and Raeford (Hoke).

References

Guide to Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps
North Carolina State Demographics

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps via NC LIVE
Requires password available from many local libraries. After logging into NC LIVE, click Browse Resources and select Maps

Related Links
Carthage Fire Department
Dunn Fire Department
Laurinburg Fire Department
Pinehurst Fire Department
Rockingham Fire Department
Sanford Fire Department
Southern Pines Fire Department

The Series
Then and Now #1: Down East Fire Departments
Then and Now #2: Northwest Fire Departments
Then and Now #3: Charlotte West Fire Departments
Then and Now #4: Triangle Fire Departments
Then and Now #5: Greensboro West Fire Departments
Then and Now #6: Fayetteville to Goldsboro Fire Departments
Then and Now #7: Warrenton West Fire Departments
Then and Now #8: West Central Fire Departments
Then and Now #9: Northeast Central Fire Departments
Then and Now #10: Western Central Fire Departments
Then and Now #11: Northeast Central Fire Departments
Then and Now #12: Dunn to Pinehurst Fire Departments

Note
A version of this article was published on FireNews.net
on January 5, 2007.

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