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EXTANT FORMER FIRE HOUSE

20 Eustis Street, Roxbury

Ladder Company 4

Chemical Engine Company 10

Photo of the Company and Apparatus of Roxbury Torrent 6 on Eustis St., circa 1860.
The Company and Apparatus of Roxbury Torrent 6 on Eustis St., circa 1860.

Firehouse of Chemical Engine Co. 10 at 20 Eustis St., Roxbury, circa 1900
Firehouse of Chemical Engine Co. 10 at 20 Eustis St., Roxbury, circa 1900.

Firehouse at 20 Eustis St., Roxbury, with the doors closed, circa 1910.
Firehouse at 20 Eustis St., Roxbury, with the doors closed, circa 1910.

The former firehouse at 20 Eustis Street, Roxbury, with sign 'United Spanish War Veterans', in 1976.
The former firehouse at 20 Eustis Street, Roxbury, with sign 'United Spanish War Veterans', in 1976.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/cityofbostonarchives/

Fire House at 20 Eustis Street, Roxbury, in 2008
The Eustis Street Fire Station in 2008.      Discover Roxbury

HISTORY

Ladder Company 4 was organized here on January 6, 1868, the date the Town of Roxbury was annexed to the City of Boston. Ladder 4 had been Washington Hook & Ladder 1 of the Roxbury Fire Department.

The firehouse had been used as a firehouse, prior to 1868, by the Roxbury Fire Department. Torrent Engine 6 of the Roxbury Fire Department had been quartered here. The photo at left shows the company with its Hunneman hand engine.

The building was built in 1859 and was designed by Roxbury architect John Roulestone Hall. It was built at a cost of $2,777.40. It is a 2 1/2 -story brick building constructed in the Italianate style. It replaced a smaller 2 story wood Greek Revival firehouse built in 1829. In 1869, a rear addition made of wood was constructed to house 'hook and ladder' equipment and a stable.

Ladder 4 stayed until May, 1874, when a new firehouse was built for the company at 407 Dudley Street. On December 27, 1878, Ladder 4 moved back to 20 Eustis Street and stayed until October 30, 1880. On that date, Ladder 4 moved to 198 Dudley Street. The firehouse remained vacant for nine years.

Chemical Engine Company 10 was organized here on September 16, 1889. It was temporarily disbanded on January 17, 1916, when Ladder 4 moved in from 198 Dudley St., during renovations to accomodate motor apparatus. On October 2, 1916, Ladder 4 moved back quarters at 198 Dudley St. Chemical 10 was reorganized at 198 Dudley St. on that date. The firehouse at 20 Eustis St. was closed and never used again as a Boston firehouse.

On January 8, 1917, the Boston City Council voted to turn the building over to the Building Department, for lease to the Spanish-American War Veterans as a local headquarters. City Council Report.   In the 1930's, the building was the Roger Wolcott Camp, No. 23, United Spanish War Veterans (USWV). A photo taken in circa 1976 shows the sign 'United Spanish War Veterans' mounted over the front door. It is unknown when the USWV ceased using the building.

This building is the oldest firehouse in Boston still standing. Little was done to the building in the years since the Fire Department ceased operations within. The photos at lower left and lower right show the condition of the building in 1998 and 2008.

On May 15, 2010, the non-profit preservation group Historic Boston, Inc. (HBI) held a public ceremony to announce the start of a rehabilitation project on the Eustis Street Firehouse. To see more about the planning for this project, use this Link: Historic Boston, Inc. News

On Wednesday, October 5, 2011, a Ribbon Cutting and Open House event was held to celebrate the completion of the firehouse restoration project. HBI now has its headquarters on the second floor of the building. Event Flyer from 10/5/2011.

To see more about the completion and dedication ceremonies for this project, use this Link: Dedication    To see several photographs of the ceremony, use this Link: Photos

The restored firehouse at 20 Eustis Street, Roxbury, in 2011.
The restored firehouse at 20 Eustis Street, Roxbury, in 2011.

1890 map showing the location of the firehouse of Chemical 10.
1890 map showing the location of the firehouse of Chemical 10.

The firehouse at 20 Eustis Street, Roxbury, in 1998.
The firehouse at 20 Eustis Street, Roxbury, in 1998.




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