Not long after the Windsor Fire Department moved into its impressive new Headquarters Fire Station on Pitt St. E. in 1928, Chief Clarence DeFields arranged to have a panoramic photo taken of all of the W.F.D.’s motor apparatus lined up in front of the new building. More than eighty years later, this remarkable photograph showcases the city’s motorized firefighting fleet as it was at the time.
From left to right, the family portrait includes: 1925 Model “T” Ford District Chief’s Car; Windsor’s first motor pumper – a 1914 Seagrave WC-96 built by the W.E. Seagrave Co. in Walkerville; all four of the city’s chain-drive American-LaFrance fire engines, including the Type 45 rotary gear pumper delivered in 1925; a nearly identical 1923 Type 45 pumper; 1920 Type 14 city service hook and ladder truck and a 1920 Type 45 pumper. On the right is Windsor’s only aerial ladder truck at the time – a formerly horse-drawn 1910 W.E. Seagrave 85-foot spring-raised aerial drawn by a locally-made 1916 Menard motor tractor. The car barely visible on the extreme right is Chief DeField’s speedy Studebaker roadster.
Until the amalgamation of the former towns of Sandwich, Walkerville and East Windsor in 1935 the Headquarters fire hall on Pitt St. across from the City Market was known as Station 2. The imposing three-story, four-bay hall served the city for 42 years, until the present headquarters station on Goyeau St. was opened in 1970. The Pitt St. hall was demolished in 1971.