ISHPEMING - The Ishpeming Volunteer Fire Department is celebrating its fire hall's 100th year of service with an open house and breakfast Saturday.
The pancake and sausage breakfast will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. and the open house from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event will give community members a chance to meet the firefighters and look at the trucks, said Fire Chief Ed Anderson. The fire department is just asking for donations to cover the cost of the breakfast.
"It's not a fundraiser for anything," Anderson said. "We just would like people to come down here and have a look around. A lot of people might not have ever been in a fire hall before so this is a chance for them to do so."
The Ishpeming Fire Hall is 100 years old this year and to celebrate the fire department is having an open house and pancake and sausage breakfast Saturday. (Journal photo by Adelle Whitefoot)
The fire hall was built in 1912 and accepted by the city on Dec. 22 of that year. When the hall was first built, it was considered the finest fire hall in the upper Midwest, Anderson said. The police department moved to the building in the mid 1970s.
According to the Ishpeming city website, it was equipped with a state-of-the-art Gamewell alarm system that consisted of numbered alarm boxes on poles throughout the city. When an alarm was set off at one of the boxes, a siren was sounded automatically, lights went on and the stable doors of the hall opened.
The hose tower is a major land mark in itself, Anderson said. It was torn down in the late 1990s due to structural concerns but was later rebuilt through the help of a grant.
"Our hose tower is still in use today," Anderson said. "We hang our hoses from the tower to dry them out. Many fire halls don't use their towers anymore and just lay their hoses on the floor with fans to dry them."
The fire department has recently been working on trying to get a new hall built or the current one renovated. Originally built to house horses and fire wagons, the floor of the hall is not strong enough to hold the newer fire trucks, Anderson said.
"Obviously the trucks are a lot heavier than what the floor was meant to hold," Anderson said. "If anybody has any questions about what we are trying to do and what the problems are with the hall Saturday would be a good time to ask."
Any money left over from the donations after the cost of breakfast is subtracted will be put into the Fire Prevention Fund.
The breakfast will be held in the lower level of the building and anyone who is attending is asked to come in through the front door.
Adelle Whitefoot can be reached at 906-486-4401.