2013-11-29 / Community

Way Back When

By Dan Guarino


Photos courtesy of Andy McCracken. Photos courtesy of Andy McCracken. These two vintage photos of the now familiar firehouse on Beach 116th Street and the officers and men assigned to it were brought to The Wave by Andy McCracken, of the Knights of Columbus.

Dating from 1926, the photo on the left shows the firefighters of Engine Company 268 and Ladder 137. The second shows Engine Company 137.

Except for the cobblestone street, the firehouse exterior looks nearly exactly the same today.

Both companies and the firehouse just celebrated their 100th year of service.

In 1913, the year the house was opened, former Christian Brother William Jay Gaynor was Mayor of New York City.

The 94th man to hold that office, he was also the first and only NYC major to suffer an assassination attempt.

The Fire Commissioner was Joseph Johnson. The Fire Chief, from 1911 to 1931, was John Kenlon.

In 1927, a year after these pictures were taken, Chief Kenlon even appeared in a silent film which showed him racing through the streets of old New York to respond to a fire!




The Beach 116th Street firehouse dedication original plaque. Photo by Dan Guarino. The Beach 116th Street firehouse dedication original plaque. Photo by Dan Guarino.

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