WellesleyWeston Magazine

SUMMER 2015

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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Having fire apparatus and two volunteer companies did not end the problem of fires. In August 1893, a fire, deliberately set, partially destroyed the Concord Road house of Charles H. Fiske. Two months later, the arsonist struck again, destroy- ing or damaging three two-story buildings in the center of town owned by Edward Coburn and occu- pied by Coburn, harness maker W. G. Wark, dry goods dealer W. T Burrage, and grain dealer C. L Keefe. Townspeople posted a $500 reward for the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators, who were never caught. That year, 16 members of the depart- ment submitted a petition seeking pay for time spent at fires. After that, the men were paid 25 cents for each hour actually worked. In 1908, the town constructed the Kendal Green Fire Station, an all- concrete building that still stands on North Avenue. It was praised in a 1909 article in the Municipal Journal and Engineer, which noted: "an effort was made to give [the new station] an appearance which would be sufficiently artistic for its surroundings." Critics responded that it was too low to the ground, too close to the street, and "in the worst place that could be found on North Avenue." According to a history of the Weston Fire Department, written by H. Bentley Crouch and recently published in The Weston Historical Society Bulletin, there was a reason that the town built such an expensive struc- ture in this location. According to Crouch, at the time residents were concerned about proposals to build a street railway on North Avenue, and "by placing the first station at the narrow point in the road and 84 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s u m m e r 2 0 1 5 Ready, Willing, & Able top: J. Sumner Viles was Police Chief from 1929 to 1958; bottom: The all-concrete 1908 Kendal Green Fire Station was used for just over a decade; background: Central Fire Station in 1936 B E T H F U R M A N B E T H F U R M A N

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