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Grand Rapids in 1856

Scene of early Grand Rapids viewed from the...

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Number 3's Engine House

Number 3's Engine House

March 13th, 2013

The membership of Fire Company No. 3 began to build their engine house on Scribner just north of Bridge St. in 1859 and completed it in 1860. Most of the labor was done by the firemen after six o'clock during the summer months.


Charles Belknap, a member of Fire Company No. 3, described the early days. Started in 1859 and finished in 1860, the membership of No. 3 Fire Company secured the lot and built the engine house on Scribner just north of Bridge St. Most of the labor was done after six o’clock on summer evenings. Men who had put in 10 hours on day jobs hurried to the engine house and worked until darkness drove them home.

As the front of our engine house took shape, pillars of Grand Rapids marble, quarried in the Hovey plaster mines, were cut and polished for either side of the door. Doors and window frames of elaborate design were made by hand, and fine stained glass windows were put in. The glass came from Chicago and was very carefully spread out and studied before being leaded into place.

The opening night was the great event of the year. There was music by a score of fiddlers and dancing kept on until daylight. At midnight a fine supper was served. All the table silver on the west side was there, and it took the balance of the summer to separate and return it to the rightful owners.

Never again until the great homecoming dinner served on Pearl St. Bridge at the close of the Civil war did so many beautiful ladies appear at one gathering. 

Full Details

TitleNumber 3's Engine House
KeywordsWYCE; radio; Grand Rapids; Historical Commission; history; Fire Department
Pubdate StringMarch 13th, 2013

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