Friday, April 30

Save the Historic 1909 Dilworth Fire Station


"In 1909, Fire Station # 2 opened to fulfill the need for fire protection in the Dilworth neighborhood which had seen rapid industrial and residential development from the popularity of Charlotte's streetcar system. At the time, the closest fire station was in the center of the city, about two miles away, and the slow moving horse-drawn engines took too long to reach the area. However, the city would not build a fire station in Dilworth because it was outside the city limits and was not an established borough of the city.
Realizing the need for fire services within their community, the businesses and residents of Dilworth formed a committee, and in May of 1907, appeared before the Board of Alderman requesting that the area known as Dilworth be recognized as a borough of Charlotte. It was at this meeting that the request was granted. However, Dilworth had to wait until October of 1908 before the request for a local fire station was finally approved. The building contract was awarded to J. A. Jones at a cost of $3,000. Construction began on the fire station in January of 1909, and was completed two months later.
Two horses were purchased and housed on the first floor to save time in harnessing when an alarm sounded. Pulleys and chains held the harnesses aloft until they were lowered onto the horses and quickly fastened in place. A chemical engine and a steam engine shared the space. Three men were on duty at all times and W.B. Glenn became the first captain for the new station.
Eventually, motorized firefighting apparatus replaced the horse-drawn engines. By the late 1940s, the station was no longer large enough to house the latest firefighting equipment, and a new station was built across the street from it. Old Fire Station # 2 was sold to W.E. Price and Ethel R. DeLaney in 1946 who owned it until 1976 when it was deeded to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Fire Museum, Inc. This usage was never realized. In February of 1976, former Fire Station No. 2 was registered as an historic property.
The Old Dilworth Station is now the oldest remains of a fire station in the city. It is the responsibility of the community, local businesses, City Council, the Landmark Commission, and the City of Charlotte Economic Development Board to help renovate this Historical Icon with contributions, grants, or other types of funding. This building must be preserved for our children’s children."

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