Fire Barn 5


Fire Barn 5 or Fire Station 5 is a historic building in Elgin, Illinois. It was the fifth official fire barn in Elgin, originally housing horses and a fire fighting carriage. Over the years, the carriage was replaced by automobiles. The building is an example of Classical Revival architecture and operated as a fire station until 1991, the year it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. It now functions the Elgin Fire Barn No. 5 Museum, a museum of firefighting history.HistoryElgin, Illinois was first settled in the 1830s and was incorporated in 1854. Upon incorporation, the city was able to raise taxes for public buildings, including a town hall and schools. With the success of the Elgin National Watch Company and the Gail Borden Condensing Company, Elgin became a prosperous manufacturing town by the late 1860s. It was at this point when the first fire department of Elgin was established following a bad fire on July 15, 1865. A storage facility was built for firefighting equipment, and featured a bell to alarm citizens when a fire broke out. Elgin citizens were eager to support the department because of reduced insurance premiums. Fire hydrants were installed in 1875. The department ran on a volunteer basis until the late 1880s, when professional carriage-drivers were hired to drive the fire engine. The growth of the department closely followed the growth of Elgin as a whole. The first fire station, capable of housing on-duty firefighters, was opened on January 19, 1889 on the site of the original truck house. Two years later, a second station was opened on Chicago Street near State Street. Two additional fire houses were built in 1896.


533 Saint Charles St
Elgin, IL


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