Old Troy firehouse was torn down in 1970

Published 8:07 pm Tuesday, December 6, 2022

In 1970, the old firehouse was deemed a hazard and was torn down.

Progress calls, and another Troy landmark falls.  The old firehouse, located on the corner of Elm and Oak Streets, is being torn down.

Dianne Smith

Dianne Smith

Six years ago, when firemen made the move to the new city hall building, the First Methodist Church purchased the old structure.  Rev. R. H. Collins says that plans for the lot are not definite.  It may be used as a parking area for the church, or landscaped and kept as a beauty area.  In future years, an extra Sunday School building might be added.

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Since the move, one of the rooms has served as a Sunday school class and some of the others for storage. 

“It is becoming a hazard,” said Rev. Collins.  “The roof leaks, and it will just be safer to remove it.”

A former fire chief, Jeff White, was on hand as the wrecking crew began their work. 

“I’ve spent many an hour in this place,” said White, recalling the 33 years he was connected with the department.

In 1928 White was a volunteer fireman, started full time in 1940 and was made chief in 1948 when Charles Copeland left the post.  Luke Massey took over when White left and served until A. B. Tillery, the present Fire Chief accepted the job.

White remembers the days when the ‘fire engine’ was a horse drawn wagon.

“The wagons and horses were kept inside the building,” recalls White.  “Horses were kept in a stall with the gear rigged from the roof so that it could be dropped in place on them when the fire bell rang.”

“Some of the firemen lived upstairs and they slid down a pole to answer a fire call.”

At one time the fire station was moved to the location that now houses Barbaree’s Paint Shop.  Later, it was moved back again.  A fire bell hung to ring out an alarm and call the volunteers to help.  When an alarm was installed, the bell was sold.

     White said that when he joined the department, there was an old GMC hose wagon, without a pump and a 750 gallon American La France pumper in use.

The only changes made in the building since then was the construction of the shed outside, and inside changes such as installation of shelves, etc.

The worst fire White recalls during his years with the department occurred in 1934 and destroyed an entire block of downtown Troy.  White was a volunteer fireman at the time.

The destructive blaze razed the area where the rock building is now and Rube and Carroll Lawrence’s father was killed in the fire.  The Troy department was aided by the one from Montgomery in controlling the flames.

The fire department now at City Hall, has sleeping facilities, a kitchen and dining area and living area.

All of these articles can be found in previous editions of The Troy Messenger.  Stay tuned for more.  Dianne Smith is the President of the Pike County Historical, Genealogical and Preservation Society.