This is the second in our series of “Past & Present” images.
Barberton Fire Station No.1
A little history: Until the early 1900s, each of Barberton’s major factories was responsible for maintaining its own firefighting brigade and for responding to citizen fires. In response to a series of factory fires, including the 1893 Kirkham Art Tile fire, Barberton’s leaders began evaluating their outmoded fire response plan.
Another major fire in 1894 at the Portage Stawboard Factory was enough to push the community to take action in updating their fire response plan. By 1895 an ordinance passed to organize a fire department. The new fire department was to be headed by ‘Milt’ Royston, a former Portage Strawboard factory foreman and fire brigade leader.
Fire Call Box
In an effort to increase response times, a series of fire call boxes were positioned throughout the city. (View a list of these call boxes)
Initially the department had only housing for its horses and equipment, but by 1904 Barberton had approved the construction of a new more respectable fire station which included quarters for the full time firefighters.
When it opened in 1905, Barberton’s first fire station (No. 1) was headed by Fire Chief Royston.