Danbury in Fairfield County, Connecticut — The American Northeast (New England)
The Danbury Fire Department
— The Museum in the Streets® —
The first reference to a fire department in Danbury can be found in The Republican Journal newspaper printed on November 11, 1793 announcing, “A subscription has been set forward in this town for the purpose of procuring a Fire Engine.”
In 1824 the borough of Danbury appointed its first fire inspectors and five years later a tax was levied to buy two fire engines that led to the formation of the first two fire companies.
The building of the Kohanza reservoirs in 1860 and pipes laid for a city water system encouraged the city to reorganize the department into four companies that were made up of one hundred and ten men; all were volunteers.
Fire alerts depended on word of mouth and the ringing of church bells. Men transported all of the equipment themselves but in 1880 were given permission to use horses “when necessary.”
Pleas for an alarm system had been ignored for years but in 1881 the fire department was authorized to erect a fire tower. A bell connected nine different locations via 125 poles and 9 miles of wiring.
The constant threat of fire to homes and businesses reinforced
Danbury became a city in 1889 and the first paid Fire Chief was hired at a salary of $200 per year. Within the year, a new company, the first hose wagon, two more horses and a ticker tape alarm were also in place.
On January 1, 1890, the city’s first paid fire department was organized. It was formed to operate in conjunction with volunteers – a system still used in Danbury today.
Erected by The Museum in the Streets®. (Marker Number 11.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Government & Politics. In addition, it is included in the The Museum in the Streets®: Danbury, Connecticut series list. A significant historical month for this entry is January 1914.
Location. 41° 23.751′ N, 73° 27.181′ W. Marker is in Danbury, Connecticut, in Fairfield County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Ives Street and Railroad Place, on the right when traveling south. Located in the pedestrian passage to Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Danbury CT 06810, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Danbury Fair Days (within shouting distance of this marker); Marian Anderson (within shouting distance of this marker); Trains, Trolleys & Transportation (within shouting distance of this marker); Charles Edward Ives – The Father of Modern Music (within shouting distance of this marker); 248 Main Street (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Seal of the City (about 300 feet away); Danbury – The Hat City (about 300 feet away); Higher Education (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Danbury.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 25, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 5, 2014, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page has been viewed 494 times since then and 38 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on January 5, 2014, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.