Firefighters get coffee, tacos and a big thanks at historic station

Fort Worth firefighters admire Ed Hawthorne’s restored 1900’s horse-drawn fire hose wagon. Photo by David Alvey

Coffee and breakfast tacos, along with a big thanks were delivered to members of the Fort Worth Fire Department for their service at the historic Fort Worth Fire Station No. 1 in downtown Fort Worth.

City Center Management Company and former Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price were among those saying thanks. The former mayor had a good reason for being there. Built in 1907, Fire Station No. 1 has stood for 114 years, housing the original Fort Worth City Hall, with the mayor’s office located on the second floor. The building, situated between the Wells Fargo Tower and Bank of America Tower, was in use until 1980 and was restored in 1982 for commercial use.  

“We wanted to take the opportunity ahead of a busy holiday season and let our firefighters know how much we appreciate them,” said Johnny Campbell, President and CEO of City Center Management, which manages the two towers that surround Fire Station No. 1. “This was a special morning with the firefighters who were very appreciative of the community support.”

Located at 203 Commerce Street and E. 2nd Street in downtown Fort Worth, firefighters were treated to coffee from the new Starbucks Pickup located on the first floor of Fire Station No. 1 and breakfast tacos from 203 Café located on the second floor of the historic building. 

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Ed Hawthorne, president of the Texas Fire Museum, brought a rare, museum-quality, horse-drawn fire hose wagon to park in front of the old station for firefighters to see. Built in the early 1900s, the fire hose wagon originally served Ahmeek, Michigan, a small village located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The wagon was in disrepair when Hawthorne found it outside a store in Michigan. It recently underwent a complete restoration by the Weaver Wagon of Ohio and has a permanent home in Texas.

Jack Yarbrough, chairman of the Fort Worth Firefighters Museum, and Royce Shields, vice chair, brought a display of fire history memorabilia for the firefighters to see, including a plaque with an historical photo of Fire Station No. 1 with a horse-drawn steamer and a horse-drawn fire hose wagon along with a horseshoe and the history of Dewey, a fire horse who was said to be the fastest horse in the firehouse when the wagons were still pulled by horses.  The Fort Worth Firefighters Museum is currently set up in the Bob Bolen Public Safety Complex at 505 W. Felix Street at Hemphill in Fort Worth. It is free and open to the public. More information, including how to donate to a permanent home for the Fort Worth Fire Museum, can be found by searching “Panther Hose Company” on Facebook.