Well I think I have struck Gold

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I just got back from a little expedition downtown. No I wasn’t taking pictures, or even taking full advantage of Roanoke’s main Library. I was researching the Roanoke Fire Department at the Library without getting into all of the microfiche that they have. I skirted around the microfiche mainly because I did not know where to begin and I did not have a full day to put in doing the research. So after I finished I figured I would swing by the Union Hall and see what exactly was in Captain Maurice Wiseman’s stash that he left the RFFA when he passed away. Now I have looked through some of the pictures, even scanned some of them into the computer, but I hadn’t dug like I dug today. First off let me say wow. That man did a lot of work on the history of the department. He saved every newspaper clipping for years and has them all in order in huge binders. He has correspondence with other historians and information, data, articles from them. He has all of the stuff that I did not want to get into at the Library. This man got it all together, so much information, articles, pictures, stories all handwritten, photocopied, or typed on a type writer.

So what do we do with all of this information? We take it and run with it. No I don’t mean steal it. We simply pick up the pieces that he left (and he left most of them) and we finish the puzzle.

Case and point: I have asked around about the Alert Fire company. I have asked everyone I have come in contact with. I hadn’t gotten an answer from anyone. Well I found it today. On an earlier post I listed past Fire Stations including Volunteer Fire Departments in Roanoke from the past. Well I found a couple more. The Alert Fire Company No. 4 was chartered November 7, 1892 and disbanded February 28, 1903 and yes Capt. Wiseman left the whole roster also. So that answered that question but I answered some other questions that I didn’t even know there was a question for. The Alert company was located near the Brewery.

The Friendship Fire Company #3 was originally named the Union Fire Company #3 (1890).

The Vigilant Steam Fire Company #1 was organized January 17, 1884 and disbanded December 31, 1893.

The Junior Hose Company #2 was chartered February 29, 1888 and was located in the basement of the Old Rorrer Hall on the Corner of Campbell and Roanoke St.

There was also

Roanoke Fire Company #1.

Roanoke Machine Works Hose Company #1 organized 1882 for protection of the Railway and the Hotel Roanoke.

Roanoke Machine Works Hose Company #2.

Hotel Roanoke Hose Company #2 organized Feb. 4, 1884 and disbanded prior to July 4, 1884.

Salem Fire Company

So that is a taste of what I have found. I will probably begin writing chapters on the history to be included in this blog to better serve the process and outcome of my findings and that of Captain Maurice Wiseman before me. If you have any questions email me FireFleitz@adelphia.net.

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