2009-10-09 / Columnists

Historical Views of the Rockaways

The Far Rockaway Main Firehouse - 1908
From The Rockaway Museum Commentary by Emil Lucev, Curator Dedicated To The Memory Of Leon S. Locke

The present brick firehouse on Central Avenue in Far Rockaway was constructed in 1913 - some 96 years ago! The Rockaways became part of the greater New York City in 1898, but paid New York City firemen filled the old volunteer firehouses beginning in 1905. The Far Rockaway firehouse pictured today became Engine #164 on Central Avenue and still had horse drawn apparatus. Motorized equipment was slow in coming (what else is new in New York City) and began to replace horses in 1916, but the advent of the Great War (1914- 1918) brought horses and volunteers back, due to an acute shortage of men and material.

This is an exceptional photo card, in that it shows men, horses and equipment behind the open doors, and a fire pole can be seen coming from the second floor on the right side of the structure.

When the firebell went off, the well trained horses took up their positions in front of the engines, so they could be hooked up for the run to the fire location.

A second firehouse (ladder and hose company) south of Cornaga Avenue on Central Avenue was discontinued after the present firehouse was opened for duty.

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