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Fire and Police
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Chemical Engine No. 4 is seen at the corner of Washington and Poplar Streets circa 1880. Members of the engine company pose around the chemical engine, which was drawn by horses to the scene of the fire. This engine house was replaced in 1888 by a red brick and granite engine house designed by Samuel Bateman. Today, this is the site of the Roslindale Branch Library.
Firehouse of Engine 45, Ladder 16 on Washington Street, Roslindale Square, circa 1895
Firehouse, Engine 45, Ladder 16 at 4246 Washington St., Roslindale Square, circa 1910
Firehouse of Engine 45/Ladder 16 at 4246 Washington St., Roslindale Square, circa 1915
The Roslindale Firehouse was an interesting Romanesque-revival building designed by Samuel Bateman and built in 1888. It replaced the old wood-framed Chemical Engine No. 4. The Firehouse was located at the corner of Washington and Poplar Streets, which is now the site of the Roslindale branch of the Boston Public Library. The impressive building was surmounted by a copper weathervane in the design of a horse-drawn fire engine and was home ot Ladder Company 16 and Engine Company 45
The firehouse at 945 Canterbury Street, Roslindale, circa 1960
Engine 53/Ladder 16/District 12 Firehouse in Roslindale, circa 2000
Engine 45, circa 1958
Engine 45, circa 1976
The Roslindale Police Station was located in this wood framed Queen Anne style house. The station, located at the corner of Washington and Ashland Street (now Cummins Highway), was adjacent to the Sumner School and is today the site of the Roslindale Community Center, which was designed by Harrison H. Atwood and built in 1916. In the distance is the spire or the Roslindale Baptist Church on Cummins Highway at Florence Street.
Contributors: Anthony M. Sammarco and Dennis Kirkpatrick
More about the Firehouse by Dennis Kirkpatrick:

The library opened in 1961 so the firehouse would have moved to 945 Canterbury St before that of course. There has been some confusion amongst some people on the modern fire company names:

The Roslindale Square fire station was the house for Engine 45 and Ladder 16, and District Battalion Chief 12 (Car 12 on the radio). A second fire station located at Walk Hill Street just a short distance in from Hyde Park Ave housed Engine 53. This is now an apartment building.

When those two stations closed the 3 companies were consolidated in the new Canterbury Street house, which was in its day state of the art.

For a period of time both E45 and E53 were two-truck units. When new 1968 Ward LaFrance pumpers were delivered, the older units remained in service as secondary pump units and acted as "hose wagons." As such as many as 5 trucks were housed at Canterbury Street at one time; two engines per engine number, and a ladder.

Over time the hose wagons served their purpose and were removed and only the newer pump units made up the Engine companies mechanical compliment. Technology improved and budgets waned. E45 was decommissioned and its number reserved.

As such the current compliment at the Canterbury house is E53 and L16 and D12. It has been like this for a number of years now.

Most people do not know that Boston was the first city to develop a fire call box system for summoning the fire department which was eventually adopted nationwide. It operates much like a telegraph system, and it has its own power supply. It still operates much the same way as it did when invented, though the mechanics have been modernized over time. It continues to operate despite modern radio technology and remains in use to this day. So even if the lights go out, your neighborhood fire box still works - always.

Contributions courtesy of Anthony M. Sammarco
Photos courtesy of Bostonfirehistory.org and The Roslindale Historical Society
If you'd like to submit a photo, or if you've taken any of the photos above, please contact the Roslindale Historical Society at roslindalehistorical@gmail. com

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Maria Ventresca Bennett

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