Tuesday, May 16, 2017

History of Fire Protection District No. 4

     A detailed account complete with photographs of the fascinating history of Fire Protection District No. 4 in Mandeville is available for viewing by CLICKING ON THIS LINK. 

The first fire station was located at 2118 Monroe Street

An excerpt from that history follows:

     A New Orleans newspaper reported that a fire destroyed the Davis Hotel in Mandeville as early as 1847. The first attempts to offer some limited fire protection were in the late 1800s when the community fathers had cisterns bricked into the ditch bank in the old part of Mandeville. The runoff water from local artesian wells would accumulate in the ditches and then gather into the cisterns. 

     In the unfortunate event of a fire, the cisterns could be used as a water supply for bucket brigades. Some of the cisterns were located at the intersections of Girod & Jefferson Street, Lafitte & Jefferson Street, Monroe & Girod Street, and Carroll at Claiborne Street. During this time there were two fire departments within the Mandeville town area-Fire Company No. 1 and Fire Company No. 2. 

     One of the departments was noted as being very socially active. The department relied on family monies to fund their social events. The other company had very limited funds and proved to be a more 'hands on' organization when fires occurred. Fire Company No. 1 was chartered April 4, 1914. The first Fire Chief of record was Isadore Levy who served from an unspecified date through 1930.

Click on the image below to make it larger and more readable. 

1959 Locally Manufactured Fire Apparatus at Sharp Motors

More information about the fire district's history is available by CLICKING ON THIS LINK. 

Fire Stations

The locations of the several fire stations were also examined in this excerpt from the district's webpage.

The following information describes time, dates, interesting facts and background of the Fire Stations and how, why, and who developed the Stations.

Around 1928

The first record of the Town of Mandeville having a designated "Fire Station" was around 1928. Mr. Bossie, Mr. Theophile "Dad" Prudhomme, Zachary Sharp, and others donated time, money and land to build a fire station for the newly acquired 1917 Model T Fire Truck purchased from the town of Covington. The small wooden Fire Station with two swing doors and an asbestos shingle roof was located at 2118 Monroe Street. The fire station was located near Sharp Motors and the alarm siren.

Mid 1930s

With a water tower was being installed behind the Town Hall at 1923 Jefferson Street along with water lines being installed throughout areas of Mandeville, the fire suppression response changed from a Model T Fire Apparatus to a Hose Cart. A two story wooden building at Jefferson Street and Carroll Street was the location of the second fire station. The fire station was approximately 20 feet wide and 35 feet long. The entrance to the fire station was along Jefferson Street. From the mid 1930s to 1947, the two story wooden building housed the first and second Hose Carts.

The first cart was pulled by draft horses and the second cart, built on a Buick automotive chassis, was pulled by the town's dump truck. The upstairs area was a living area occupied by a town employee, Mr. J.B. Joiner. Joiner served as a town worker during the day and the custodian of the fire station on nights, weekends, holidays, etc. In the 1930s, this area was considered the "Heart of Mandeville" and was the central business area. The fire station was located across the intersection from the Bell Telephone Office. The telephone office had a duty operator who manually transferred calls.

1947 to 1950

The fire station was moved to 2013 Jefferson Street in 1947. The fire station was a wood frame building with tin walls and a wooden truss roof covered with tin. The wooden swing doors opened toward Jefferson Street. The building was approximately 30 feet wide by 30 feet long and still stands today. The persons responsible for the construction of the building are unknown. The building was likely located on private property owned by the Smith family.

1950 to 1963

In 1950, the Fire Station was moved to a wood frame, tin building approximately 30 feet by 30 feet at 1920 Madison Street. The building had two double doors which opened to Madison Street. The building was owned by the town of Mandeville and was located in front of the old brick Jail House. The building has been renovated several times since 1963 and was used by the Water & Sewer Department for general storage. In May of 2007 the building was taken down.

More information about the fire district's history is available by CLICKING ON THIS LINK. 

Girod St. Fire Station at Tammany Trace, 2015

Firefighters in 2018