Then & Now

Photo courtesy Kearny Public Library/Museum

Photo courtesy Kearny Public Library/Museum

Photo by Karen Zautyk

Photo by Karen Zautyk

The elegant looking, dome-crowned, brick firehouse on Midland Ave. at Argyle Place, Kearny, was little more than a decade old when this postcard photo was taken, circa 1908. Stately trees and homes still lined Midland, eastward down the hill, but the trolley tracks are a hint of changes to come. The fenced-in grassy plot on the left may have been a private yard, but that’s just a guess. We do know what that tower is behind the firehouse: a fire watchtower, much like the ones still used in some wilderness areas. This tower was also utilized to dry the fire hoses, which would be hung down its sides. The Kearny Fire Department’s Midland Ave. house was built in late 1896 to replace an 1880s firehouse that was located on Kearny Ave. just south of Midland where Trinity Episcopal Church now stands. Ironically, on Jan. 30, 1896, that earlier wood-frame structure, home to Truck Co. No. 1, had been destroyed by fire. Truck 1 moved to a barn on Argyle Place until the building shown here was opened. It served the KFD until the current firehouse replaced it on the same corner in 1976.

– Karen Zautyk

The Observer Staff