Granada Fire Department October 9, 1983
Back: Gene Shoemaker, Bruce Hiatt, Bob Tonne, Dale Strauser, Eugene Tonne
Front: Butch Voyles, Wayne Kotewa, Charlie Post, Matt Sparks, Gary True, Linda Goraczkowski, Dewane Mortensen
The Granada Fire Company became equipped for business in October 1896 after they built a truck house. This is the earliest known record of the Granada Fire Department. It wasn’t long before they went into action. In May 1897 the Barnes & Drake Butcher Shop caught fire. The flames were extinguished promptly by the young department with little damage to the business. Arson was thought but not proven to be the cause.
Just barely a month later in June 1897 they again had some excitement. The school house was struck by lightning. This caused considerable damage to the structure but the school was saved! However the school house caught fire again in August 1917. This time there wasn’t too much damage. Our school seemed to be doomed, as the saying goes – “third time is a charm”. On September 19, 1966 the oldest part of the school was destroyed by fire. Only the additions of 1952 and 1964 were saved because of a fire wall.
The Village of Granada purchased a fire engine in 1900 for $219.20. This new engine would throw a two inch stream of water over the tallest building in Granada. We meant to keep fire at bay!
The early part of the fire departments history is unknown. It is believed they were not even organized as a department. Even during what could have been a very disastrous fire the department was known not be officially organized. This occurred on January 7, 1907 when P.C. Hubert’s Blacksmith Shop was destroyed. If there had been any wind that day nearly half of Granada’s downtown could have been lost. Even as it was seven businesses and one home were damaged by fire. This happened when all of Granada’s buildings were wooden structures, except the Granada State Bank.
In August 1907 the fire station was moved to Main Street to a more central location. At that time the editor of the Granada Times made a plea to have the fire department re-organized and wanted William Boston as fire chief. It took ten years but finally in August 1917 they did re-organize with C.L. Frazier as chief, Hugh Rice as secretary and Fred Drewes as treasurer.
In 1930 the firemen approached the city about getting a suitable fire siren. The following year the city did agree to pay $100.00 for a siren. By the looks of the present siren it is probably the same one purchased in 1931. The tower it sits on was donated by Tom & Ruth Anthony sometime before the new station was built.
In 1942, there was considerable discussion and two separate votes pertaining to renting the hall above the post office from Clyde Hiatt. During both times it was voted down. This matter didn’t want to go away and in 1943 it was voted to rent the hall for $30.00 per year. The firemen also decided to continue to sponsor Granada Troop #67 Boy Scouts. The hall was made available for the boy scouts use.
During June 1943 they wallpapered and otherwise decorated the new meeting place. In honor of their first meeting in their “new dolled up hall” Dan Pappas fixed a very fine lunch of hot dogs, doughnuts, pickles, and coffee. They were so impressed with his cooking skills he became the cook. They had a pheasant feed this year also and since Dan Pappas and Clyde Green could not capture a pheasant, they were requested to furnish the ice cream.
The fireman enjoyed playing cards. It was decided in December 1943 to buy $1.00 worth of cards to set out for use at special meetings. I guess they didn’t want to use their regular playing cards which they used after each meeting.
In 1946, they had a tough decision to make. A vote was taken to decide whether to have a stag party or have their wives invited. As you guessed it, they voted for a stag party.
By the summer of 1960 a new way of contacting each fireman was needed and discussed at length. A system was to be setup that only one number would call the fire department and in turn that would call the firemen. This was achieved around the summer of 1961. The telephone would ring one long ring until it was answered.
The village voted to build a new fire and city hall. The new building was finished in September 1973 for $18,000. The old hall which was built in 1922 was sold for $550.
The Granada Fire Department welcomed Linda Goraczkowski their first and only female fire fighter in 1982. Linda has recently retired but is still an active community member.
The Granada Fire Department currently hosts their annual Pancake and Sausage Supper and later in the year their annual hog roast. Both of which are fund raisers. In the past the fire department held dances, a fireman’s feed and oyster stews. All of which were popular.
Comments, additions, or corrections are most welcome; please send to the Granada Historical Museum, PO Box 115, Granada, MN 56039.