Sunday, March 15, 2009

So Where Was The "KV" Fire House? Engine Company 9: 55 East Broadway

While I went to an old map to figure out where the "KV fire house" was, the answers arrived in emails
from Sarah:
It was a door or two from Chatham Square Library.

from Cliff:
My memory says E'B'way between Market and Catherine (I could be wrong,) but the class walked to the firehouse--so it couldn't have been far., and we did slide down the pole. It probably was the fire company that served KV.

About the history of that Fire Company, from the company's site:
Quarters of Engine Company 9: 1865-Present
- Sep. 29, 1865: Organized at 55 East Broadway at former volunteer quarters
- Jul. 6, 1883: Relocated to 55 East Broadway due to construction
- 1902: Relocated to 77 Canal St. at L-6
- Mar. 31, 1903: Relocated back to 55 East Broadway
- Jan. 10, 1966: Relocated to 269 Henry St. At E-15
- May 6, 1969: New Quarters completed at 75-77 Canal St. quartered with L-6
Engine Company 9
Engine Copany 9 is the oldest Company in the New York City Fire Department. Engine 9's roots can be traced all the way back to the Colonial days of 1731. At that time two hand pumpers were imported to New York from London, England. Before these pumpers arrived, the people had only leather buckets to transport water onto a fire.
These new pumpers were side stroke, 2 cylinder machines. They were mounted on solid block wheels and were dragged to the fire by the volunteer firemen. The new pumpers were housed in sheds built for them at Wall and Nassau Streets, then the site of City Hall. Engine 1 was named "Hudson Engine", and would stay in existence after the paid Department came into being, as Metropolitan Engine 2. They were disbanded in the 1970's. (Their original Engine is still in existence at the New York State Volunteer Fireman's Home Museum in Hudson N.Y.). Engine 2, named "Chatham Engine", would eventually become the present Engine Company 9. Chatham Engine was moved to the Boston Post Road (now called The Bowery) in 1784, and then to Eldridge and Division Streets in 1832.There was always a great rivalry between the old "Vollies"; Each Company wanted to be the first to get water on the fire. Any trick would be used to slow down the other companies including FIST FIGHTS ON THE WAY TO THE FIRE! Chatham Engine was a bitter rival with Engine 26 and in 1845 both companies were disbanded for fighting. Chatham Engine was reorganized as "Excelsior Engine 2". They moved into a house on Henry Street near Catherine Street in 1846. They remained there until early in 1865 when they moved into a new house built at 55 East Broadway. By this time the City of New York had grown to more than a million people and it was decided that a paid Fire Department was needed to replace the volunteers. On September 29, 1865 Excelsior Engine 2 became Metropolitan Engine Company 9. Engine 9 remained at their East Broadway quarters for over 100 years. In 1969 they moved into their present quarters at 77 Canal Street. Engine 9 shares their quarters with Ladder Company 6 and Satellite-1, a special apparatus that carries large diameter hose and foam equipment.

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