Engine 50 to Celebrate 100 Years

One of the most beloved fire stations and fire companies in the City of Boston will celebrate its 100th year on July 26 with a grand ceremony put on by the Charlestown Historical Society and the Boston Fire Department – among others.

July 26, 1918, began the current Engine 50 Firehouse, and Julie Hall of the Historic Society said – even though the station is under renovations and not open this summer – they didn’t want the anniversary to pass by without marking it.

“We’re excited about it,” she said. “It is a very unique firehouse. I think Brooklyn is the first People’s Firehouse, but we’re the second one. It’s special because it’s part of the community. I met (Firefighter) Guy Cammarata at Whole Foods and he is such a part of the community. We take care of each other. It’s a multi-generational thing because it happened long ago as well.”

Hall said they will have a special celebration closing off the street in front of the Monument and bringing in antique fire trucks on July 26, at 11 a.m. They will also have an exhibit in the Bunker Hill Museum of some of the artifacts and old fire logs in the Charlestown Historical Society’s records.

The Firehouse is also unique in that it was part of a major protest in the 1980s where residents staged a sit-in to keep the beloved station from closing – marking it one of the People’s Firehouses.

Mark Sanders of the Boston Fire Department said it is a special firehouse in the City, and one of the oldest as well.

He said it was established before Charlestown was annexed into Boston in 1874, and that made it the oldest existing firehouse.

“It is one of the most beloved firehouses in Boston because it is truly a neighborhood firehouse built into the homes,” he said. “Plus, it is on the Freedom Trail which also gets it a lot of notoriety.”

Incidentally, Sanders said Engine 50 was one of the few companies that had lime green fire trucks in the 1970s. He said the firefighters’ association had suggested the change, and Engine 50 was among a handful of pilot companies to use it.

“The City of Boston switched back to red in the 1980s, but for a short time Engine 50 was one that had lime green apparatus,” he said.

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