Index























Then and Now #6: Fayetteville to Goldsboro

Cumberland, Robeson, Sampson, and Wayne 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.

Until motor apparatus were placed in service, mutual aid between towns and cities was accomplished by sending personnel and their equipment on railroad cars. Such as Fayetteville's telegraph to Raleigh on November 5, 1885. With the Fayetteville Hotel aflame and the fire department needing assistance, a special train was sent bearing Raleigh's Rescue Company steam engine and 34 firefighters. The blaze was extinguished and damage did not extend beyond the building.


Clinton 1936 American LaFrance pumper "Cecil" in present day. Courtesy Clinton Fire Department

Clinton, Sampson County
November 1915

Volunteer, 20 men. One station and two hose houses. Fire station at 53 McKoy Street: 20 men. Two reels with 500 feet 2 1/2-inch hose on each. Hook and ladder truck. 600 feet 2 1/2-inch hose in reserve. Hose house at corner of Railroad and Jones Streets: One reel with 500 feet 2 1/2-inch hose. Hose house planned for corner of Beaman and Vance Streets: One reel with 500 feet 2 1/2-inch hose from McKoy Street fire station. Fire alarm system by bell. Population 2,000.

Today
Two fire stations, eight pieces of fire apparatus, eight career members, and 29 part-time members, protecting over seven square miles. Population 8,600.

Fairmont, Robeson County
March 1918

Fire station at 229 Main Street. Two hose reels. 1,000 feet 2 1/2-inch hose. One 175-gallon chemical extinguisher on wheels. Fire alarm sounded by bell in daytime and by whistle on power station at night. Population 1,000.

Today
One fire station, two pieces of fire apparatus, one career Public Safety Director, and 26 volunteer members protecting 2.2 square miles. Population 2,604.


Fayetteville's steamer on Person Street during the 1912 fireman's tournament. Courtesy Fayetteville Fire Department

Fayetteville, Cumberland County
January 1914
Volunteer, 24 men, chief, and assistant, paid $1.00 for each fire attended. Twelve colored men for hook and ladder company. One driver and one chauffeur fully paid. One permanent horse. Two horses used for sprinkler are used for hook and ladder truck. Fire station at City Hall, 121 Gillespie: One horse for fire only, two horses used for other purposes. One Seagrave 52 HP combination automobile truck with 40 gallon chemical tank, 200 feet chemical hose, 1,000 feet 2 1/2-inch hose. Two one-horse hose wagons with 500 feet 2 1/2-inch hose each. One hand reel with 250 feet 2 1/2-inch hose. One hook and ladder truck. One fifth-class Silsby steamer. 500 feet new hose in reserve. Hose house in Haymount area at 303 Davis Alley: One hand reel with 250 feet 2 1/2-inch hose. Hose house in Campbellton area at split of Person and River Streets: One hand reel with 250 feet 2 1/2-inch hose. Total amount of hose: 3,200 feet, 500 feet new, 2,000 feet good. Fire alarm by telephone, private call from fire station to 16 members, and bell on town house. Population 10,000.

Today
Thirteen fire stations, 54 pieces of fire apparatus, and 240 career members protecting 58.8 square miles. Population 121,015.


Goldsboro hose wagon and driver, circa 1890s. Courtesy North Carolina State Archives

Goldsboro, Wayne County
December 1918

Nine paid men, 20 volunteers. Two stations. Central Station at 121-125 North John Street: One American LaFrance combination automobile with 40 gallon chemical tank and 1,500 feet 2 1/2-inch hose. One one-horse hose wagon with 700 feet 2 1/2-inch hose. One third-class Silsby steam fire engine towed by automobile. One two-horse hook and ladder truck with 45-foot extension ladder. Station No. 2 at 209 East Vine Street: One horse. One hose wagon with 700 feet 2 1/2-inch hose. Total amount of hose: 4,500 feet. Gamewell fire alarm system with 17 stations. Bell alarm at Central Station. Population 13,000.

Today
Five fire stations, fourteen pieces of fire apparatus, and 82 career members protecting 25 square miles. Population 39,147.


Lumberton town hall and fire station, built 1917. Courtesy Lumberton Fire Department

Lumberton, Robeson County
March 1914

Volunteer, 14 men, one chief, and one assistant chief. One station and five hose houses. Fire station at 317-319 Water Street: One hand hook and ladder truck. Old equipment to be replaced in April with the following: one American LaFrance combination hose and chemical automobile truck with 1,000 feet 2 1/2-inch hose. One one-horse hose wagon with 800 feet 2 1/2-inch hose and two chemical extinguishers. One one-horse hook and ladder truck. One regular driver to stay at City Hall. Hose house at corner of Elizabeth and East 7th Streets: One hand hose reel with 300 feet 2 1/2-inch hose. Hose house beside Graded School on Walnut Street: One hand hose reel with 300 feet 2 1/2-inch hose. Hose house at intersection of Pine and East 3rd Streets: One hand hose reel with 300 feet 2 1/2-inch hose. Hose house on West 10th Street: One hand hose reel with 300 feet 2 1/2-inch hose. Hose house beside 118 West 4th Street: One hand hose reel with 300 feet 2 1/2-inch hose. Total amount of good 2 1/2-inch hose: 2,000 feet. Gamewell fire alarm system to be installed by April 1st with 12 boxes. Alarm to blow whistle at pumping station and extension alarm at City Hall. Population 3,500.

Today
Four fire stations, nine pieces of fire apparatus, 54 career members, and one volunteer member protecting 15 square miles. Population 20,795.

Maxton, Robeson County
May 1919

Volunteer, 25 members. Fire station beside police station at 602 S. Central Street. One automobile truck with 500 feet 2 1/2-inch hose, two 20-foot extension ladders, and one 10-foot ladder. Two hand hose reels with 500 feet 2 1/2-inch hose each. Fire alarms: bell in tower on the Robeson Bank Building, shotguns, and private telephones. Population 2,500.

Today
One fire station, six pieces of fire apparatus, and 28 volunteer members protecting approximately 36 square miles. Population 2,551.

Mount Olive, Wayne County
July 1920
Volunteer, 18 members. Fire station at City Hall, 124 East Main Street. Automobile combination truck and hose wagon with 1,000 feet 2 1/2-inch hose and 60-feet of ladders. Two reel carts with 350 feet 2 1/2-inch hose each. Fire alarm by whistle at water works and bell on City Hall. Population 3,000.

Today
One fire station, eight pieces of fire apparatus, two career members, and 26 volunteer members protecting over 20 square miles. Population 4,567.

Red Springs, Robeson County
June 1922

Volunteer, chief and 18 members. Hose house at 217 Main Street. Two hose reels with 500 feet 2 1/2-inch hose each. Four chemical extinguishers. 400 feet hose in reserve. Alarm by bell in tower at hose house. Population 1,400.

Today
One fire station, four pieces of fire apparatus, and 32 volunteer members protecting approximately 12 square miles. Population 3,493.

Roseboro, Sampson County
June 1922
Volunteer, five men. Fire station behind 208 West Railroad Street. Two Ajax 40-gallon chemical engines with 100 feet chemical hose each. Fire alarm by bells and whistles. Population 900.

Today
One fire station, six pieces of fire apparatus, and 30 volunteer members protecting approximately 25 square miles. Population 1,267.

Rowland, Robeson County
May 1919

Volunteer, 21 members. Fire station at 201 Main Street: Two hose reels with 500 feet 2 1/2-inch hose each. One hook and ladder truck with 40-foot extension ladder drawn by hand and private automobiles. Hose house at 108 Main Street: One hose reel with 500 feet 2 1/2-inch hose. Fire alarm by siren at power house and private telephones. Population 1,000.

Today
One fire station, seven pieces of fire apparatus, and 30 volunteer members protecting over 20 square miles. Population 1,146.

More Photos


Fayetteville hook and ladder company, 1903. Courtesy Fayetteville Fire Department


Fayetteville firefighters in front of Gillespie Street station, 1923. Courtesy Fayetteville Fire Department


Clinton Fire Department in 1948. Courtesy of Clinton Fire Department


Early Lumberton apparatus at later Cedar Street station. Courtesy Lumberton Fire Department


Goldsboro Fire Station 2 at 209 East Vine Street, present day

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 below link to view later-era maps including the towns of Hope Mills (Cumberland) and Saint Pauls (Robeson).


References

Guide to Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps
Historic North Carolina Firehouses

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

Clinton Fire Department
Fayetteville Fire Department

Goldsboro Fire Department

Lumberton 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
in August 19, 2005.

Coming next: Franklin, Granville, Person, Rockingham, Vance, and Warren counties
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