Fire Alarm Towers


Centre Market (with the Fire Alarm Bell) was built in 1853/54 but the tower was declared unsafe in the early 1860's and removed. The tower served as the city's first fire alarm bell, which wighed 6,000 pounds. Watchmen were stationed in it to strike the alarm in case of a fire. When the tower was declared unsafe, the bell was relocated at Market, Arlington, Augusta & Nicholson Streets. The bell lasted at that second location until the early 1870's when it was removed to the iron tower on Halsey Street, south of the Canal. That tower was taken down in 1897 when the electric fire alarm signal service made it unnecessary.  In addition to the Halsey Street tower, alarms were also rung from the "Haymarket" in Summer Avenue, the Second Presbyterian Church tower, T. P. Howell's leather Factory near the county jail and other spots in the city.