Where's old fire barn pole now?

Mark Brooky • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:18 PM


The old brass pole was used by the firefighters who slept upstairs to quickly descend to the trucks and equipment in the bays below.

"A lot of older locals have told me that they used to have open houses at the station and they would let the kids go down the pole," Line said. "A few years ago, the fire barn was turned into (an art) gallery, and some visitors wondered where the pole had gone because they remembered it from their youth."

Line, who helped found the Fire Barn Gallery that now calls the first floor at 18 N. Fifth St. home, said she has asked around and no one seems to know what happened to the pole.

The old fire barn was built by the Work Projects Administration in 1936-37. It was replaced by the city's present Public Safety Building, 525 Washington Ave., in 1975. The "new" fire station has no need for a pole because there is no second-floor sleeping quarters.

Lt. Renee Freeman of the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety said she does not personally know what became of the pole, but was told by another staff member of its whereabouts at least until 2000.

"The pole was stored in the old water plant," Freeman said. "When the city sold the water plant, the city had to remove their property (and) that was the last time we saw it."

Dr. Dave Seibold, in his local history tome, "Grand Haven in the Path of Destiny," wrote that the old fire barn pole may have been the same one from an earlier city fire house built in 1892.

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