03/28/09 183 W, 1 I - + 15 - 11 How to Research a Fire Department History?

Question from reader, what's the best place to start researching a fire department history? Answer from blogger, see these notes on researching fire department histories. They're from a presentation delivered in Greensboro at the state convention in 2006. Then, ask Mike any additional questions as needed. We'll get you pointed in the right directions.

Of the resources listed in said presentation, Sanborn Maps (shown below) are a particularly strong source. Each map summarizes a town or city's water supply and fire department. Then, on the map sheet showing the fire station, there are usually additional details. At a minimum, you'll learn the street address and building construction of the fire station.

Sanborn Maps are available online via www.nclive.org, but only by subscription. Your local library typically has access, and you can likely use that access remotely. Once you get a feel for the browser interface, you can easily down PDF copies of map sheets. Mike will be referencing these and other sources in August, at this year's convention in Raleigh. More on that later.

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