Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Fort William and Port Arthur Fire Department...plus family involvement...

This post is a tribute to all those who died fighting fires while protecting our cities of Fort William and Port Arthur

The picture on the left is a very similar photo of the fire truck as noted in the contract with the city of Port Arthur, Ontario shown here.

This is a local photo taken about the same era shown above at an unknown location here in Fort William or Port Arthur, Ontario.  The trucks in the photos are very similar.
The purchase contract shown, states a price of $7,550.00, a large sum for a growing community back in the teens.
The price did however include an instructor to train firemen in the use of the new fire truck. 
The contract is dated May 6, 1912....almost one hundred years ago today.
This is a Port Arthur Fire Department 1929 REO rescue vehicle.

.The names at the right are for the 1933 group photo here.

This is George Chasty, Fire Chief of Port Arthur Ontario from 1940 to 1947.

The next photos start the Fort William Ontario(Brodie Street) Fire Department.

This is a photo of the Fort William Fire Department(Brodie Street Fire Hall) taken early in the 1920's.  It was located where the former "Holiday Inn" on Brodie street was built which now houses the "Independent Living Resource Centre".

The above colour photos show the location of the former Fort William fire hall and the black and white photo above was taken approximately 1940 in front of the same spot shown in the 1920's photo.  Click here for another look at this station on this blog then come back!  http://hotrodsandjalopies.blogspot.ca/2010/02/central-fire-station-1fort-william.html

Well known Fort William Fire Chief Harold Lockwood taken in 1956.
 Some of the following photos were donated to this blog site for use by Mr. Stan Johnson from Hearst, Ontario.  The fireman with the yellow square frame is his wife's grandfather John Kemp, and the fireman with the green sqare frame is none other than my great uncle Sip Seppala.  As you will see futher below, my uncle Sip is the husband of former Mayor of Fort William, and my great aunt, Catherine Seppala.

The photo here shows my great uncle Sip Seppala, framed in green,  teaching "Fire School" to a group of new recruits and future firemen.  The following is a short bio of my great aunt Mayor Catherine Seppala.  She was on city council for 5 years and Mayor for 1 year before she took ill.

This photo shows the test run of the latest in fire protection equipment.  This pumper first tested in 1912 her is now part of oour local Museum's collection.  The next colour photo shows a similar model of the American La France "Metropolitan Steam Pumper"

The following photo shows my great uncle Sip Seppala(green square) during a restoration of the pumper back in the 1960's.  This photo was taken in the laneway behind the Brodie Street Fire Station.

The following is a huffing puffing short film on how these pumpers would work.  This was not filmed here in Thunder Bay however, but shows how powerful the pumper was.

This is another Stan Johnson photo showing the horse drawn fire vehicle coming out of the Pacific Avenue fire hall.  The building still stands to this day as a day care centre shown below in the next two colour photos.

These final two photos are of my great uncle Sip and his beautiful boat aptly named "Catherine" after his wife Mayor Seppala.  The woman in the photo is my God-mother Marie Johnston, and the kids are her son Harvey and yours truly Dave Cano(I'm the fairer haired kid).  These pictures were taken along the Neebing river, not too far from the May Street bridge and the Canadian Lakehead Exhibition Fairgrounds, where my great uncle and great aunt lived.
It was very interesting putting this one together and I couldn't have done it without the help of the photos sent to me by Mr. Stan Johnson.  Thank you Stan.


Unknown said...

I love the one photo of the Brodie Street Fire Hall where you can see the old Central School tower down the street. Would love to see some photos of the old Fort William Central School.

Dave Cano said...

Thanks, and yes I should have some Central School photos around somewhere.

Anonymous said...

It's great to see these older pictures of the fire stations and apparatus used in the Thunder Bay ares