Firefighting history on display in photo showcase

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com One of the more attention-getting photos on display at Rockingham City Hall shows the blaze that destroyed the Roberdel Mill on Oct. 15, 1970.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
One of the more attention-getting photos on display at Rockingham City Hall shows the blaze that destroyed the Roberdel Mill on Oct. 15, 1970.

Staff report

ROCKINGHAM — Members of the Richmond County Historical Society have updated the photo display inside Rockingham’s City Hall to showcase the local history of firefighting.

Nearly 20 photos illustrate the evolution of firefighters’ uniforms and equipment since the 1920s to present. Some capture catastrophic moments in Richmond County history, while others reflect the brotherhood of the firefighter industry that still exists today.

Artifacts further indicate the technological advances in the life of a first-responder, and also how governments responded to the growing need for public safety.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

One framed image shows an advertisement that offers statistics compiled and published from 1926 to 1935 show that fires caused an estimated $4 billion — with a “b” — in property damage.

“Nearly all fires may be extinguished in their incipiency by a bucket of water,” exclaims the ad for The Fire Alarm Box, manufactured by The Gamewell Company in Newton, Mass. “The Fire Alarm Box is the only available and ever accessible means for transmitting fire alarms directly to the fire department.”

Members of the Richmond County Historical Society take care to rotate the display theme approximately four times each year.

The society meets every third Tuesday of the month at City Hall on Rockingham Road. This month’s meeting is set to begin at 7 p.m. on March 16. There, Olivia Webb is scheduled to present a program on author Robert Chester Ruark Jr., a former reporter for the Hamlet News-Messenger and the Sanford Herald.

Ruark was born in Wilmington in 1915 and died at the age of 49 in London, England.

 

Filed in: Education, Featured News, Latest Headlines, Rockingham

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