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  • Firepole


    I just came across this forum through some google searching and hope I am not breaking any rules by posting. I am not a firefighter, but I did purchase a late 1800's firehouse and renovated it, so, I have a great interest in the subject.

    Anyway, the point of my post is, when my father first purchased the building, there was a flagpole out front that he dug up. It turns out it's actually an old brass firepole and I was wondering if it had any value. I am interested in selling it.

    I read/heard/saw somewhere that they can be pretty valuable. Turns out, it's not the original pole that was in this station. I developed the blueprint on the pretense that I would re-install the pole, but this one is actually a bit short for my needs.

    If there is interest, I can take some measurements and pictures, but right now I am just trying to get an idea of the market, if it exists. I don't know the diameter, but if I remember correctly, it is just over 20 feet in length.

    Thanks so much!

  • #2
    1800s firehouse - COOL! Do you have any photos of your firehouse?

    As for trying to figure out the possible value of the pole, again, a pic is probably necessary for identification purposes for anyone who may be able to help you.

    I would check out E-Bay and other classified ads sites or forums to see if you can find a similar item. Other possible sources of info could be antique sites, firefighter memorabilia or sites like http://spaamfaa.org/ .... GOOD LUCK!
    September 11th - Never Forget

    I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

    Honorary Flatlander



    • #3
      Originally posted by RspctFrmCalgary View Post
      1800s firehouse - COOL! Do you have any photos of your firehouse?
      This, please!
      "A fire department that writes off civilians faster than an express line of 6 reasons or less is not progressive, it's dangerous, because it's run by fear. Fear does not save lives, it endangers them." -- Lt. Ray McCormack FDNY

      "Because if you don't think you're good, nobody else will." -- DC Tom Laun (ret) Syracuse


      • #4
        So sorry for the delayed response, I was never notified that there were any replies.

        You can see a ton of pics over here:


        The reno didn't go entirely as planned, but I did save the wood from the original lockers for reconstruction. This building isn't exactly in a good neighborhood, and it had already been gutted and converted into a very low-dollar apartment in the 80s so a lot of the original goodies had been pilfered.

        There are conflicting reports on the age of the building, but it seems that the closest date for possible construction would be 1893. However, judging by the carvings in the exterior bricks by fireman who served here, the earliest year I've found is 1912. I guess it could be that firemen didn't start doing that until then and that it's not an accurate indication of when the building might've been built.

        Also, this was originally called the "Phoenix Hose Company" and was horse-drawn (naturally). Once the fire brigades were assimilated into a municipal entity, it became Firehouse #4 for the city of Rock Island, IL. It remains the oldest standing firehouse in the city.

        Thanks for the interest! And, although I still haven't gotten any concrete information on what the fire pole I have might be worth, I did receive an inquiry on it from a small town south of here. They're building a new fire station and might be interested. But, that still leaves me with wondering what it might be worth.


        • #5
          Great photos. You might want to check with the town's real estate department and search back the records for that property, which you might have already, to see when the buidling was constructed.
          Stay Safe and Well Out There....

          Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers


          • #6
            Is it for sale yet??? hehe

            Well done on the renovation. Nice pics and comments as well.

            I'm the one Fire and Rescue calls, when they need to be Rescued.

            Originally posted by EastKyFF
            "Firemens gets antsies. Theys wants to goes to fires. Sometimeses they haves to waits."


            • #7
              Very impressive!!
              My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
              "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
              George Mason
              Co-author of the Second Amendment
              during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788
              Elevator Rescue Information


              • #8
                Definitely beyond jealous. Looks good, very impressive.
                "A fire department that writes off civilians faster than an express line of 6 reasons or less is not progressive, it's dangerous, because it's run by fear. Fear does not save lives, it endangers them." -- Lt. Ray McCormack FDNY

                "Because if you don't think you're good, nobody else will." -- DC Tom Laun (ret) Syracuse


                • #9
                  Thanks everyone! Very encouraging! This project sucked 3.5 years of my life but we're very happy with how it turned out. The only detriment is its location, but according to the City, and its ongoing regentrification process, things around me are changing for the better. We didn't build this as our forever home but we knew we'd be here for at least 5-10 years.

                  Of course, I still have quite the to-do list yet to get everything 100% complete, but as I say, it's done "enough". (=

                  Thanks again!


                  • #10
                    From the eyes of a Building Inspector (who has seen many a renovation of old buildings....) it looks freaking FANTASTIC. Just some items of curiosity....

                    1. I think I saw a picture somewhere of the outside and some kind of a sign that said this was an old Chicago firehouse. If you want more information than you could ever want, you should contact the 5-11 Club, which is a Chicago Fire Buff Club- there are guys there that could tell you the history of your "House" from the day the foundation was laid to the day that the last Company was pulled out of there.

                    Some Building Inspector Stuff:

                    1. You mentioned making the third floor living space/spare bedroom. Was this habitable space before or an open cockloft, maybe hay storage? The reason I ask is that the floor joists (or the ceiling joists for the second floor) look like 2x10's, but I can't tell for sure from the pics. In any case, the span looks awfully long. Did you reinforce the third floor with any new load-bearing framing?

                    2. Picture #64: Same space- You mention making this a spare bedroom. Most, if not all building codes require a second means of egress from any bedroom (IE a compliant window or fire escape....) I didn't see any windows unless I missed them/it.

                    3. The firefighter in me demands I say "Where are the sprinklers?" (sorry had to do it.)

                    Looks great.
                    Last edited by FWDbuff; 03-31-2011, 08:52 PM.
                    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."


                    • #11

                      Thank you! This was a learning process! And, what you don't get right the first time, you get right, hopefully, by the 4th or 5th time! I always knew I wanted a fixer-upper.. And, I've always been a bit of an over-achiever! (=

                      First 1.) The building is in Rock Island, IL. I am about 175 miles due west of Chicago on the Mississippi. I live in the "Old Chicago" neighborhood. That placard was just a historical sign that I believe the City put up at some point. Personally, I thought it was an eye-sore that detracted from the beauty of the building so I took it down.

                      Second 1.) There are supporting walls on the 2nd floor breaking the span of the 3rd floor.

                      2.) The 3rd floor room is technically a "bonus room" and you're right, cannot be called a "bedroom" due to lack of egress.. However, I don't think that stops Joe Schmoe from putting a bed up there and sleeping (= I am toying with the idea of putting in a couple skylights on the 3rd floor and rope ladders so that it CAN be a bedroom. And, also, allow escape in the event of a fire.

                      Thanks so much for your input! Like I said, this was completely on-the-job training for me in all manner of trades. My dad has always had our houses torn up to some degree while I was growing up, so the idea of fixing a house wasn't all too foreign. However, did I ever take a big bite.. Holy cow!

                      Thanks again!!
                      Last edited by mghtbgiant; 04-11-2011, 10:07 AM.


                      • #12
                        If by any chance you see this message, or any one else that can help sees it, I am looking for a brass fire pole for the 1883 fire house I'm working on in Dayton, Ohio. A new one is out of the budget, but my wife and I would love to find a way to have on in the house.


                        • #13
                          private message sent, jbar.. well, i attempted to sent a private message but its telling me you cant receive them. here are the contents of the mssage:

                          I still have the pole as it's pinned in the back of my garage and I've been too lazy to dig it out (loaded shelves and such in front of it). I had interest from a local firehouse that just built a new station but since I haven't gotten it out yet, it still sits in my garage.

                          What is your budget? I'm sure it could be freighted to you on a semi as it's over 20' long and awkward. I really should dig it out get a better look at it. It has a couple small dings from what I remember and it's pretty tarnished but I was going to start working on polishing it up and see how shiny I can get her.

                          Let me know your thoughts and I might be inspired to actually get it out!
                          Last edited by mghtbgiant; 11-11-2013, 12:15 PM.


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