Old Chestertown Firehouse now a Town Hall
According to a wayside marker at the current Chestertown Firehouse (see photo and source note 1 below), the Chestertown Town Hall, at 118 N. Cross Street, was Chestertown’s firehouse for forty years (1938-1978).
The old Chestertown Firehouse was one of 325 new firehouses built by WPA workers between 1935 and 1943. And, in addition to these new constructions, WPA workers engaged in hundreds of other projects to repair or improve existing firehouses (Federal Works Agency 1946).
There can be little doubt that thousands of fires across America have been responded to, and put out, thanks in part to facilities built or improved by WPA workers. In Chestertown, the fire department responded to a major fire that “happened the morning of July 16, 1954, when the Kent Manufacturing Co., a munitions/fireworks factory, burned in a series of explosions that threatened the very existence of Chestertown” (see source note 1 below).
(1) Wayside marker at the current Chestertown Firehouse, at 211 Maple Avenue, Chestertown, MD 21620. (2) Federal Works Agency, Final Report on the WPA Program, 1935-43, p. 131, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1946. (3) WPA Photograph Collection at the University of Maryland College Park Archives.
Project originally submitted by Brent McKee on October 5, 2014.
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