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This collection includes photographs taken by or for the Olympia Fire Department between 1885 and 1980. Images include fire inspections, fire fighting units in action, post fire buildings, pump houses, and fire engines. Images include the following subjects: Union Academy fire, Olympia Fourth Avenue bridge (1922), Olympia’s Chinatown (1942), Olympia High School, IOOF Hall (1937), Amberlin's Market/Anchor Hotel (1941), the Washington Standard building (ca.1940), and the Columbia No. 1 engine and company (ca. 1890).
The first fire engine company to be established in Washington Territory was the Columbia Number 1, which was formed in Olympia in 1865. It was considered an honor to belong to this company, and members had to pay dues, attend weekly practice, and be ready to help maintain equipment. Uniforms, hoses, and other equipment were paid for with fundraising balls. In 1868, after Columbia Hall was built, the city donated space in the lower quarters to the company. Joseph McCarrogher, Olympia's first salaried fireman, was hired in November 1889.
There are 23 images digitized in this collection.
These images are open for research.
All notations are in English.
Cataloging by Rachel Thompson.
Preferred Citation: [Title of image], [date], [photographer if known], Olympia Fire Department Photograph Collection, 1885-1980, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov, [date accessed].
Source: Olympia Municipal Government, Fire Department Photograph Collection, Washington State Archives, Southwest Regional Archives. Original records located at the Washington State Archives, Southwest Regional Branch, Olympia, WA.
This collection also contains post fire reviews, fire incident reports, newspaper clippings and plans which are not digitized. To learn more about these records or related records, contact the Southwest Regional Branch of the State Archives at (360) 753-1684, or email