Thursday, June 26, 2014

February 20, 1937, the first Roswell Fire Department was organized with C. W. Hughs as fire chief and 27 other members, all volunteers.  A siren on top of City Hall and someone riding around town blowing a horn alerted people that there was a fire.  The first fire station, on Elizabeth Way in the old Citizens Bank building, was rented for $10 per month for use as an office for the clerk and storing the fire truck.

In 1946, the City built a small concrete block building on Alpharetta Street near Elizabeth Way to house City Hall, the fire station, and jail. The cost of the building was $1,000, much more than originally planned because of the extra steel bracing needed for the jail.

In the mid-1950s the Economy Auto Building was purchased for the fire station. In 1979, the Wright Chevrolet building on Alpharetta Street at Norcross Street was purchased for the Fire Department, becoming Fire Station 1.

The 1942 building, enlarged into a five-bay fire station with 11,643 square feet of space, was completed and put into use in 1980. The glassed-in room used as a showroom for the car dealership contains a
museum focusing on the history of the Roswell Volunteer Fire Department. It has numerous fire-related pictures, historical information, and 1947 Ford American LaFrance Pumper, used by the City of Roswell. A new feature is a mural dedicated to the memory of firefighters lost on 9/11.

In 1987, the Fire Department saved Barrington Hall from destruction by a fire, saving it for future generations to enjoy.

Photo of Wright Chevrolet in the 1950s, courtesy of the Georgia Archives.