Archive for October 20th, 2021

New Chicago Fire Department replica models (more)

From Fire Replicas:

One of our fastest sellers! Chicago Mack B-Model TDA

Fire Replicas model of Chicago's 1960s B-Model Mack TDA aerial

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Evanston Fire Department history Part 41

From Phil Stenholm:

Another installment about History of Evanston Fire Department


Despite budget cuts that kept it from modernizing to the extent recommended by the NBFU in 1935, the Evanston Fire Department of the 1930’s was a highly-respected outfit, so much so that the Village of Golf — a small, wealthy enclave located adjacent to the Glen View Club on the north-side of Golf Road west of Harms Woods, three miles west of the Evanston city limits, and five miles from EFD Fire Station # 3 — contracted for fire protection from Evanston in 1937. 

As part of the contract, Evanston agreed to respond with one engine company (normally Engine Co. 3), one truck company (normally Truck Co. 2), and a chief officer to any report of fire received from the Village of Golf. Additional EFD companies would respond if needed.

The cost to the Village of Golf was an annual flat-fee to be paid regardless of the number of times the EFD might respond to incidents in the village and without regard to the severity of any given structure fire. The arrangement with the Village of Golf lasted until the Glenview Rural Fire Department (later known as the Glenbrook Fire Protection District) was created after World War II. 

The two suburban fire departments that surrounded the Village of Golf at that time — Morton Grove and Glenview — were mostly all-volunteer, with small-capacity pumpers and no ladder trucks, so despite being five miles and an average drive-time of 12-15 minutes from Golf (depending on traffic and weather conditions), the EFD could provide both front-line first-class fire apparatus as well as sufficiently trained manpower to operate the rigs immediately upon arrival.

The Evanston Fire Department also was contracted with the Village of Niles Center (later known as “Skokie”) going back to the 1920’s to respond to alarms in College Hill, a somewhat isolated area located in the northeast corner of Niles Center that had joined Evanston School District 65 and Evanston Township High School District 202 because its residents wanted their children to attend nearby ETHS and be part of the greater Evanston community.

College Hill was part of a much-larger five square-mile tract of land that Evanston had planned to eventually annex to provide space for it burgeoning immigrant and African-American population. However, the Village of Niles Center unexpectedly annexed the land in the 1920’s, leading to hand-wringing and threats of legal action from the City of Evanston.

The area was very sparsely populated when it was annexed, and it remained so until after World War II. Numerous streets were constructed in this area in the 1920’s in anticipation of a suburban housing boom, but the houses didn’t materialize for a number of years; first because of the Great Depression, and then later because of World War II.

College Hill was bounded by Crawford Avenue on the west, Greenleaf Street on the south, and the City of Evanston on the north and east, so by 1927 — when EFD Fire Station # 4 was completed — three of Evanston’s four fire stations were actually closer to all parts of College Hill than was the mostly-volunteer Niles Center F.D., with its firehouse located at 8031 Floral Avenue in “downtown” Niles Center. In fact, one of the reasons the NBFU had recommended in its 1935 report that a fifth EFD station be constructed in the area of Grant & Central Park was because that location would better serve College Hill.  

Thanks to its ambitious annexations of the 1920’s, its corporate limits extended far to the east and north beyond its center core, but Niles Center’s population, culture, and commercial activities in the 1930’s were still essentially located around the intersection of Oakton & Lincoln. In fact, Niles Township High School (later known as Niles East) was constructed at 7700 Lincoln Avenue in 1938 so as to be close to where most of its students resided.  

So there were a few scattered homes in College Hill as well as a handful of businesses and commercial structures located on Dempster Street, Church Street, and East Prairie Road, and the Evanston Fire Department responded to alarms in this area until January 1949, when the Village of Skokie opened its east-side fire station at 8340 Hamlin Avenue and was able to provide fire protection to College Hill.

The only other nearby suburban fire department that was under contract to respond to alarms outside its own corporate limits in the 1930’s was the Winnetka Fire Department, which responded to alarms in the Village of Kenilworth, the Village of Northfield, and to unincorporated county areas of New Trier Township located between Winnetka and Wilmette, including “no-man’s land” on Sheridan Road, and the exclusive Woodley Road neighborhood northwest of Wilmette.   


1915 American LaFrance Type 75 750-GPM TCP .
1923 American LaFrance Type 67 city-service truck

1919 American LaFrance Type 75 750-GPM TCP
1926 American LaFrance Type 14 quad
1926 Ahrens-Fox 1000-GPM TCP
1937 Pirsch Junior 750-GPM / 60-foot aerial quad

1924 American LaFrance Type 75 750-GPM TCP

1936 Pirsch 750-GPM TCP

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