Honoring Our Past - Part V
By Chief Robert Peacock
May 3, 2020

Last week we shared details of our second fire station which was built in 1933 at a cost of $13,500. The station was a large two bay garage with double deep bays and a second floor meeting room with several small offices. This second station initially housed a 1917 pumper, a 1922 pumper, and a 1932 ladder truck. It was located at 31 Bay Street approximately 150 feet from Watch Hill Harbor. It was replaced in 1956 by the current station at 222 Watch Hill Road approximately one mile from the Watch Hill Harbor.

An interesting feature of this station was an operating fire hydrant inside the station between the two garage doors. This was used to fill the trucks after fires and was very convenient in the winter months. When the station was sold in 1956. the hydrant was left in place and over the course of the next fifty years was either visible or covered by shelving as the station was used for various purposes including a ballet school, offices, an antique shop, and various retail stores.

During a recent major renovation of the first floor, we were offered the opportunity to retrieve the hydrant. Unfortunately, the cast iron hydrant was difficult to remove from the thick concrete floor and was cracked and damaged during the removal process.

Thanks to our good friends at Evans Welding in Westerly and American Paint and Sandblasting in Coventry, the hydrant has been repaired and restored to its former glory and now sits in an honored spot in the new fire station.

Our sincerest thanks and appreciation are extended to a local resident, Nicholas Moore, for recognizing the historical and sentimental value of the old hydrant and facilitating its eventual donation back to the members of the Watch Hill Fire Department.