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Push to convert fire station to museum continues

Thursday, April 4, 2013 8:49 PM
Last updated Friday, April 5, 2013 2:18 AM
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The old Engine Company No. 7 opened its doors Thursday to welcome the public into what Augusta firefighters envision will become a museum that preserves the city’s firefighting history.

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A 1924 American LaFrance sits inside the old Engine Company No. 7 on Central Avenue. Built in 1913, the fire station was the first in Augusta to used motorized trucks. The building has not been occupied since 2003.  JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
A 1924 American LaFrance sits inside the old Engine Company No. 7 on Central Avenue. Built in 1913, the fire station was the first in Augusta to used motorized trucks. The building has not been occupied since 2003.


Lt. Brice Reynolds, of Fire Station 11, said the idea is to show Augusta firefighters their heritage.

“The biggest thing is for the history,” he said.

Construction began on Engine Company 7 in 1913 and was completed about one year later for about $12,000. The building on Cen­tral Avenue was Augusta’s first station to house motorized fire engines not drawn by horses.

Save Our Seven is dedicated to the station’s preservation. The committee has collected photos and other memorabilia that it hopes to display in the restored station.

“They’re going to see things here you can’t see anywhere else,” said Lt. Joey Smith, of Station 1.

As part of First Thursday in Midtown, Save Our Seven invited people to tour the building, learn its history and eat dinner from the grill.

In future tours, the public could see restored fire engines, old fire poles, firefighters’ maps of the city, an upstairs dormitory and locker room, and other memorabilia and photos.

The building hasn’t been occupied since 2003, when the members of Station 7 moved out. Since then, the building has been used for occasional firefighter training and storage.

David Dunn, of Evans, showed up with a camera Thurs­day night to see the building he hadn’t stepped into for more than 50 years. Dunn’s father, David D.H. Dunn, was the captain of Station 7 in the 1950s.

As he walked through, memories began to come back. He pointed out where his father’s bed was in the upstairs dormitory.

“I think (their idea) is great,” Dunn said. “I’m scared to death it’s going to be torn down and no one’s going to do anything about it.”

Smith said the building has been opened to the public for the past two First Thursdays.

“We’re trying to bring some life back into it,” he said.

Committee members said the restored building could hold training for firefighters and provide a place for retired firefighters to visit.

“They spend their whole lives here, and when they leave there’s this separation,” Reynolds said.

The committee already has worked to stop water damage and conducted electrical checks. It plans
to start painting and refinishing the floor and stucco soon.

Smith said there is still a “hurdle” to jump with the Augusta Commission, which has concerns about maintenance and operation costs.

“We’re going to make that happen,” he said.

Comments (9) Add comment
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macelindak
7
Points
macelindak 04/04/13 - 10:28 pm
0
1
Restoring Firehouse

I think this is a great thing to do. Great for school field trips,etc. Good way for all to remember history and learn. Thank you. Good Luck.

macelindak
7
Points
macelindak 04/04/13 - 10:36 pm
2
1
Saving Fire Station

Great idea. Good way to teach us all local history. Good for school field trips, etc. Will make history more interesting to children. Keep up the good work and good luck.

LuvMyTown
2009
Points
LuvMyTown 04/05/13 - 05:46 am
1
0
Nice building. Hope it can be saved, but not as a museum.

City can't afford the ones we have now.

Dixieman
17563
Points
Dixieman 04/05/13 - 07:49 am
1
0
9999 POINTS

They should talk to Augusta Museum of History and join forces on this project.
If it is not preserved, I'm afraid it might burn down!

seenitB4
98472
Points
seenitB4 04/05/13 - 09:10 am
1
0
Great idea

The men need these great memories.....the firemans job was like a second home to them......more danger than some can even imagine....a close knit bunch of guys.....keep their memories intact.

Mr. Thackeray
957
Points
Mr. Thackeray 04/05/13 - 10:12 am
0
0
We cannot afford NOT to

We cannot afford NOT to preserve this as a museum...we pay too little attention to our history and as a result our children have little to no civic/state/national pride! Our young soldiers do not understand why preserving their deployment history is important to our nation...all of this symptomatic of a failure in our public education system to really "teach" history.

ritaham
41
Points
ritaham 04/15/13 - 09:26 am
0
0
Katherine's 100 Trees Project

Augusta Woman's Club began Phase I of Katherine's 100 Trees Project on the Central Avenue median. We will be announcing Phase II at the dedication on Central Avenue is Phase 1 and reception at historic Fire Station #7. Coincidentally the 1913 Fire Station began operation the same year that Augusta Woman's Club came into being October 17, 1913.
Phase II of Katherine's 100 Trees is already in motion with 1000 trees distributed throughout Georgia including the CSRA. During the 117th state convention of Georgia Federation of Woman's Clubs this past weekend in Atlanta, 700 trees were given to the 10 districts in Georgia which include 10 or more federated women's clubs in each district. There will be reports coming back to Augusta about the many projects throughout the state by women's clubs. Locally Augusta Woman's Club, K’s 100 is working with Richmond County and Columbia County on the much anticipated Greenway linking Grovetown with the Savannah River.

ritaham
41
Points
ritaham 04/15/13 - 09:27 am
0
0
Katherine's 100 Trees

Augusta Woman's Club began Phase I of Katherine's 100 Trees Project on the Central Avenue median. We will be announcing Phase II at the dedication on Central Avenue is Phase 1 and reception at historic Fire Station #7. Coincidentally the 1913 Fire Station began operation the same year that Augusta Woman's Club came into being October 17, 1913.
Phase II of Katherine's 100 Trees is already in motion with 1000 trees distributed throughout Georgia including the CSRA. During the 117th state convention of Georgia Federation of Woman's Clubs this past weekend in Atlanta, 700 trees were given to the 10 districts in Georgia which include 10 or more federated women's clubs in each district. There will be reports coming back to Augusta about the many projects throughout the state by women's clubs. Locally Augusta Woman's Club, K’s 100 is working with Richmond County and Columbia County on the much anticipated Greenway linking Grovetown with the Savannah River.

ritaham
41
Points
ritaham 04/15/13 - 09:40 am
0
0
Katherine's 100 Trees Project

Augusta Woman's Club began Phase I of Katherine's 100 Trees Project on the Central Avenue median. We will be announcing Phase II at the dedication on Central Avenue is Phase 1 and reception at historic Fire Station #7. Coincidentally the 1913 Fire Station began operation the same year that Augusta Woman's Club came into being October 17, 1913.

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