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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Trinidad in Las Animas County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

Trinidad's First City Building

 
 
Trinidad's First City Building Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, June 29, 2017
1. Trinidad's First City Building Marker
Inscription.  The brick and stone two-story building with a cupola, directly across the street, was Trinidad's first city building, serving not only as Firehouse No. 1 but also as the city hall, police department, and jail. Until it was built in 1888, city government and service departments were in rented quarters all over town.

City offices and council meeting rooms were on the second floor, along with the police department and firemen's quarters. The first floor housed the fire-and pumping wagon, with horses stabled out back. The three-cell jail was a catacomb like affair in the cellar.

The fire department had an ingenious alarm system with electrical signal boxes throughout the town which sounded a bell at the station and displayed which box had been activated. The brass pole the firemen slid down for rapid response is still in place.

The building served as city hall until the present one was built in 1909. The police department and jail moved to the county courthouse after it was completed in 1912, but the fire department utilized the station into the 1960s.

Still owned by the city, the building today is a "hands-on" Children's Museum operated by the Trinidad Junior Historical Society.
 
Erected by the Trinidad Historical Society.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Government & PoliticsNotable Buildings. A significant historical year for this entry is 1888.
 
Location.
Trinidad's First City Building (sadly the Children's Museum has closed). image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, June 29, 2017
2. Trinidad's First City Building (sadly the Children's Museum has closed).
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37° 10.243′ N, 104° 30.403′ W. Marker is in Trinidad, Colorado, in Las Animas County. Marker is on North Commercial Street north of Plum Street, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 314 North Commercial Street, Trinidad CO 81082, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Santa Fe Trail (approx. 0.2 miles away); Coal Miners' Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Coal Miner's Canary (approx. 0.2 miles away); A Clash of Cultures (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Last Coal Burning Steam Engine (approx. 0.2 miles away); World War II Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); Welcome to Colorado - Trinidad Country / Trinidad - Army of the West (approx. 0.2 miles away); Viet-Nam War Memorial (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Trinidad.
 
Regarding Trinidad's First City Building. The exterior of the building was designed by the Rapp family of architects, the same family that designed the First National Bank in Trinidad. Their implementation of arches was meant to add a Victorian grace to the structure, and the builders used locally-quarried limestone. The carriage doors keeps an original fire truck hidden, and the room behind the big window above the carriage doors was the original City Hall Chambers. Finally, the most recognizable feature of the firehouse is the cupola located on top of the building that houses the fire bell.

The building is home to a 1947 American La France fire truck, along with well-worn fireman’s coats, boots and other apparel. There are still old fire hoses dangling from the hose shaft, and other equipment, as well. Old Firehouse
Trinidad's First City Building, old Firehouse, former Children's Museum and marker. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, June 29, 2017
3. Trinidad's First City Building, old Firehouse, former Children's Museum and marker.
No. 1 still has the original fire alarm system used in Trinidad. The dungeon-like basement holds the two cold, iron cells that once detained Trinidad’s most famous outlaws.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 15, 2017. It was originally submitted on July 15, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 177 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 15, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.

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May. 8, 2021