Watch Hill Fire Department
Watch Hill Fire Department
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WHFD Honors Our Past
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By Chief Robert Peacock
August 14, 2021

In 1933, the second Watch Hill Fire Station was built on Bay Street in the building now occupied by Lily Pulitzer. It replaced the first Fire Station which was constructed in 1917 next to the sea wall near the Watch Hill Yacht Club.

The second fire station was built 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 in the back. 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.

The second station was replaced with the current station located at 222 Watch Hill Road in 1956. This location is approximately one mile from the Watch Hill Harbor and is approximately 60 feet above sea level.

An interesting feature of the second 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 at times visible and at times covered by shelving as the former fire station was used for various purposes including a ballet school, offices, an antique shop, and various retail stores.

During a major renovation of the first floor to create the Lily Pulitzer store, 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. However, thanks to our good friends at Evans Welding in Westerly and American Paint and Sandblasting in Coventry, the hydrant was repaired and restored to its former glory. The restored 1933 hydrant now holds an honored spot in the meeting room of the current 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.

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