Have you ever walked or driven past Fire Station 1 near the center of downtown San Diego and seen a gigantic bell out front? Have you wondered about it?
A few days ago I walked down the sidewalk past “The Big House” fire station and paused to snap some photos!
Words on the bell read:
W.T.GARRATT & Co SF CAL 1885
SAN DIEGO ENGINE CO NO 1
BY BRYANT HOWARD
A plaque above the huge bell reads:
THIS BELL WAS PRESENTED TO THE SAN DIEGO FIRE DEPT. ENGINE COMPANY NO. 1. IT WAS CAST IN SAN FRANCISCO IN 1885 AND HUNG IN A 50 FOOT TOWER ON FIFTH AVENUE, BETWEEN BROADWAY AND C STREET, WHERE JESSOPS JEWELRY STORE NOW STANDS.
(Jessops moved from that location many, many years ago.)
According to the City of San Diego website: Fire Station 1 was originally opened at 865 Second Avenue in 1904. That station was closed and relocated to the current building (at 1222 First Avenue) in January 1971.
I’d love to hear that bell ring! (Without a fire, of course.)
Thank you to all firefighter heroes!
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