Fire Department – Palmer MA


The Town of Palmer, Massachusetts’s website states:

“1938 showed a major change for the Fire Department. The sixth chief was elected, a new engine house built, and new fire apparatus purchased. The structure of the department changed also. A study committee chosen in January returned in September with a proposal by the Federal Government Public Works Administration. The Fire District had only eight weeks to act on the proposal, however the proposal was approved that night. The Palmer Fire District was the first in the nation chosen by the P.W.A. for this project which was to spur economic growth in the country. Because the present fire equipment was nearing its life expectancy, it was decided to reduce the size of the stations sleeping quarters and to purchase two new trucks. This made Palmer the first and only town in the nation to receive a P.W.A. grant in which the cost of apparatus, equipment and new fire alarm system exceeded the cost of constructing the station. The project coat was $82,000 dollars, of which 45 percent was paid by the Federal Government. Under recommendations of the New England Insurance Exchange, the Marcy lot, vacated by fire years earlier, on Walnut Street was chosen because of its proximity to the downtown district. June 15, 1939 was the official occupancy of the new engine house.”

PWA Docket No. MA [X]1438.

Source notes

National Archives: Record Group 135: Public Works Administration; Projects Control Division;
Entry 52: Indices to Non-Federal Projects; Report No. 5: Status of All Completed Non-Federal Allotted Projects, page 13.

Project originally submitted by Evan Kalish on October 12, 2014.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

12 Walnut St.
Palmer, MA 01069

Coordinates: 42.157000, -72.328291

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