Engine House #4

Wild West Delano

Engine House #4

Wichita, Kansas 67203, United States

Created By: Wichita History Walk

Point of Interest Details

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(To see this building, look south on Seneca St. from the parking lot of the QuikTrip.)

Engine House Number 4 is Wichita's oldest remaining former fire house. As Wichita grew larger, it was one of two new stations built in 1890 in order to improve service. In the days of horse-drawn engines, firefighters had a lot of daily chores. Each horse had to be fed, properly groomed, and exercised. The stalls of the horses also had to be mucked out regularly – and the firefighters benefited from this, as they usually slept next to their horses! Fire alarms were received from one of 44 call boxes dotted across the city, or if you had access to a telephone you might call the station directly. Since hitching up the horses took a considerable amount of time, one Wichita firefighter set out to improve the situation. R.G. Armstrong invented an automated hitch that hung from the ceiling in the fire house right above the place where the horses were trained to report on hearing the fire bell. He later patented this invention in 1896 and started a business to sell the hitches to other fire departments. This station saw the adoption of automobile engines in the 1920s, lasting well into the middle of the 20th century. It ended service in 1950 with the construction of the new No. 4 Station at Martinson and Douglas, which is now a private residence

Photos courtesy of: kansasfirefightersmuseum.com

This point of interest is part of the tour: Wild West Delano


 

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