The La Crosse County Historical Society usually accepts old items that are already a allotment of bounded history for admittance in our antiquity collection. But occasionally we acquire article newer that we anticipate will be of amount and absorption to approaching generations.
This dress compatible avalanche in that category.
Gregg Cleveland, arch of the La Crosse Blaze Department, donated this firefighter’s dress compatible in 2013. It accustomed in my appointment as if by magic, aloof actualization one morning, with a agenda in the pocket. No building is a fan of “drop offs,” or alone property, but back I saw the uniform’s provenance, I reconsidered.
I accept consistently admired we had added examples of actual aboriginal uniforms from the brand and blaze departments — conceivably anytime this compatible will be of as abundant absorption as an 1890 compatible would be today.
Therefore, this uniform, already beat by the 11th arch of the LCFD, is now in our collection. One absorbing affair about it is how agnate it is to the uniforms beat by beforehand blaze chiefs. It is still fleet dejected wool, double-ed, with adorned metal ons assuming the beyond adenoids insignia. Really alone the agreeable of the actual — a polyester lining, and some nylon alloyed with the absolute — analyze this as a compatible from the additional bisected of the 20th century, and not the backward 19th century.
While the alive compatible of a a firefighter is absolutely altered in look, actual and functionality, from one 120 years ago, the dress compatible carefully harkens to the acceptable role and attending of a firefighter.
In 1877, La Crosse had four firemen on the burghal payroll, who oversaw the four capital advance companies of firefighters. The aboriginal chief, C. A. Hunt, was a able apostle of a paid firefighting force. He had appear to La Crosse in 1886 and aing Rescue Hose Company No. 1. Hunt was appointed blaze arch of the burghal in 1896 when, afterwards abounding years of discussion, the burghal blaze administration became absolutely paid, with career firefighters.
At that time there were 45 men in service, disconnected into bristles stations, anniversary headed by its own captain. Today, the blaze administration has 93 firefighters alive out of four stations.
Chief Cleveland will retire this summer afterwards 11 years as arch of the LCFD, and his compatible will be become that abundant added “historic.” The brand application on the larboard shoulder, for the La Crosse Blaze Department, makes it an abnormally nice allotment of bounded history. Now if alone we had the brand that would accept been abrupt to the metal aperture on the anorak …
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