The Malden Fire Department invites members of the public to attend a ceremony marking the 100th Anniversary of the Grand Opening of Malden's Central Fire Station on Salem Street at the corner of Sprague Street on Sunday, March 31st from 11 AM – 1 PM.
On June 13, 1918, Mayor Charles M. Blodgett met with the Board of Aldermen for the final approval to move forward with the project to build a new central fire station. The cost for the entire project was estimated at $91,532.62 which included the purchase of land from the family of Phineas W. Sprague in the amount of $16,000. A home at the building site was relocated to another part of the property owned by the family. It was later reported that the entire project cost $100,000.
At 8:30 PM on August 29, 1918 a ceremonial cornerstone was laid at the groundbreaking event in front of an audience of hundreds which included residents, elected, city and fire officials. The ceremony was presided over by Mayor Blodgett and Fire Commissioner John H. Hannan. Also offering remarks were Chairman Dewar of the Board of Aldermen and President Fred Newcomb of the Common Council. A time capsule was placed into the cornerstone containing among other things, a photograph of Mayor Blodgett, his inaugural address, recommendations of the Mayor and finance committee for 1918, rules and manual of the Fire Department, an official silver badge of the Fire Department, newspapers containing a description of the project with pictures, coins of the 1918 mint, Fire Department roster, members of the building commission and a list of all the firemen serving “under the colors” in World War I.
On Monday evening, March 31, 1919, thousands turned out for the dedication of the newly built “modern colonial brick” fire station. The Opening Ceremonies included three hours of entertainment with dancing, readings and a band that played patriotic selections, including “Over There” and the “Star-Spangled Banner” in honor of the Firemen who were serving overseas in World War I. Remarks offered by Mayor Blodgett, Commissioner Hannan and others heaped praise upon the individuals who served on the Building Commission as well as the contractors on the beautiful new station. The station was equipped with a signal system offering greater security to residents, had offices for the Chief and Commissioner, a modern community/ward room on the main floor as well as voting booth where ward residents would cast their ballots.
“I am proud to take part in these exercises which gives Malden a modern fire station… the city has a station that will take care of the city’s needs for many years to come,” said Commissioner Hannan in his remarks. The new building replaced the central fire station originally built in 1874 that was located on Main Street on the site that later became the throughway of Exchange Street.
Over the past few years firefighters assigned to the Central Fire Station spent many hours working to remodel and update the building. In cooperation with the Mayor’s office, Building Commissioner and Public Facilities, Malden Firefighters have provided the skill and labor to ensure this building will continue to provide service to our city for many years to come.
Following the March 31st ceremony, attendees will be invited to enjoy light refreshments and tour the building to view recent upgrades.
Released by the Office of Mayor Gary Christenson
Photos from Archives of Malden Public Library