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October 14, 2010 - Tour of Old Hose House and Water Tower


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RALEIGH - Tour of the old Capital Hose House and city water tower at 115 W. Morgan Street, by members and friends of the Raleigh Fire Department Historical Society (later renamed Raleigh Fire Museum). It's the oldest fire department structure still standing, and housed the Capital Hose Company from 1887 to 1890.

The two-story building and adjoining water tower base was built in 1887 in conjunction with the completion of a city water system. The first floor housed a hand-drawn hose reel on one side, and the water company office on the other. The second floor served as a fireman's hall.

The volunteer fire company moved across the street to 112 W. Morgan Street in 1890.  They had changed from a hand-drawn hose reel to a horse-drawn hose wagon. Their engine house was newly built, as was a second engine house built on the same block for the Hook & Ladder Company.

Both buildings were replaced in 1896, when the Headquarters Fire Station opened at 116 W. Morgan Street. It housed both the Capital Hose Company and the Hook & Ladder Company. It became Fire Station 1 in 1912, and served until 1941 (learn more).

The water tower is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (read more history). The connected buildings are occupied as offices by the North Carolina Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The water tower has three levels, including a conference room on the second floor, and a storage room on the third floor. The complex includes a second office building in the rear, built circa 1910. The buildings had been for sale, and were sold on October 14.

Mike Legeros photographs, plus Bing Maps aerial views, vintage photos from the North Carolina State Archives, and two Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps. The picture of the hose company depicts the running team that competed in the state fireman's tournaments. They wore striped shirts during competition. The picture is dated 1891.


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