In 1891, Allegan Fire Department’s championship running team is seen here practicing running hoses from the hose cart while the man on the box is the starter and timer. The building in the back is today the Allegan News office on Hubbard Street.

Allegan fire service has 150 years of history (Part 1 of 2)

Virginia Ransbottom, Staff Writer

Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt of Part 1 of a two-part series looking back on some of Allegan Fire District’s 150-year history, which will be celebrated at the fire hall July 28.

After years of fires being fought by brigades of people passing buckets of water to toss on the flames, the village of Allegan splurged. It purchased its first hook and ladder apparatus in 1863 for volunteers and businessmen to use should a fire break out.

The next year, a hand pumper engine was added along with 300 feet of leather hose, which led to the need for an engine house. It was constructed on the southeast corner of the courthouse square, where the Civil War statue now stands. 

But it wasn’t until 1869, after a block of wooden stores on the west side of Brady Street burned to the ground, that village trustees thought it was high time a formal department was officially organized with three companies disciplined in firefighting techniques.


Part 2 appears next week.

All sorts of great details in the full story:

• What happened in the fire of 1884

• The dedicated actions of the first town marshal, Lloyd Y. Cady

• Find out who "Mick and Mack" were

• One of local historian John Pahl’s earliest memories of being downtown

Read about that and more in the July 11, 2019, issue of The Allegan County News or subscribe to the e-edition.

Allegan County News
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Allegan, MI 49010
Phone: 269-673-5534
Fax: 269-673-5535

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