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Oak Lake in Sifton Municipality, Manitoba — Canada’s Prairie Region (North America)
 

The RM of Sifton and Area

Our Home and Native Land

 
 
The RM of Sifton and Area Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, June 19, 2022
1. The RM of Sifton and Area Marker
Inscription.  
In the early years fire was an ever-present danger both in town and on the farms. The old newspapers are full of accounts of fires started from lamps and heated stovepipes. These fires were very difficult to control because of lack of available water and inadequate equipment. Many of the Oak Lake Council meetings had time spent on fire equipment and plans for more efficient use of it. By 1910 there seemed to be more money in the country and the fire fighting equipment was updated.

July 1912 - McCubbin became fire chief and a new fire brigade was organized.

August 1912 - A second chemical engine with hose reel attached was to be purchased and that the present engine be put in first class shape.

March 1913 - Councilor McCubbin was to write Bell Manufacturers for a price on a 40-inch alarm bell, also to towns in Manitoba having similar bells.

April 7, 1913 - The Council Secretary was instructed to procure a steel alloy fire alarm bell 44 inches in diameter, from C.S. Bell Co., Hillsboro, Ohio. When the new bell was installed it could be heard all over town. Whenever it rang, everyone
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turned to man the buckets and hoses to help try to control the fire. During these years the street lighting was really inadequate and all the side streets and south of the track was dark black at night. It was probably a concern for the safety of the children more than as a disciplinary measure that led the council to use the bell to enforce a curfew.

November 1913 - A bylaw was prepared prohibiting the presence of children under the age of 16 years on the streets of the town after nine o'clock and the Council arranged for the bell to be rung as a curfew at nine o'clock each evening. This curfew was strictly enforced. The local town constable was responsible for ringing the bell, so depending on his popularity, the bell became a means of deviling him.

January 1923 - A motion was passed that the board be affixed to the bell tower giving notice that anyone ringing the fire bell except in case of alarm be liable to a penalty of $10.00. Evidently the curfew was abandoned by the mid 1920's but the bell was used as an alarm for many years.

In 1986 a Bell Tower Committee was formed and in July the Bell Tower was refurbished. To this day, the bell stands proudly atop its tower on Main Street.
 
Erected by Oak Lake Regional Community Development Board.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists:
The RM of Sifton and Area Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, June 19, 2022
2. The RM of Sifton and Area Marker
(looking south from North Railway Street • marker is on right side of tower)
Charity & Public WorkLaw EnforcementSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1912.
 
Location. 49° 45.968′ N, 100° 38.004′ W. Marker is in Oak Lake, Manitoba, in Sifton Municipality. Marker is on North Railway Street just west of 2nd Avenue West, on the left when traveling west. Marker is located on the west side of the subject fire tower/bell tower. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Oak Lake MB R0M 1P0, Canada. Touch for directions.
 
Also see . . .  Oak Lake - Sifton Fire Department (Facebook).
The Oak Lake - Sifton Fire Department was started in 1920 under Chief Alex Jack. In 1945 the department purchased its first pumper, some hose, smoke masks, and a resuscitator. We presently have a 1995 Superior pumper which carries 1000 gallons of water and is capable of delivering 1050 gallons per minute of water plus it has foam capabilities. The department is also equipped with a 1200 gallon tanker which is on a 1978 Dodge chassis.
(Submitted on June 23, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Oak Lake Fire Tower & Bell image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, June 19, 2022
3. Oak Lake Fire Tower & Bell
Marker at Base of Fire Tower image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, June 19, 2022
4. Marker at Base of Fire Tower
Oak Lake
Curfew and Fire Bell
1913 ——— 1986
Dedicated to all
who heard its call
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 23, 2022. It was originally submitted on June 23, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 124 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 23, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Mar. 2, 2024