Updated: Aug 11, 2019
My dashing and marvelous husband, Marc, has always been an inspiration to so many of my historical romance novels. But did you know he was also a volunteer firefighter for the Hillsboro Fire Department for almost 10 years? His passion for firefighting was BEYOND inspirational and so when we bought the building, and the conversation of starting demo came up, a little sparkle entered his eye and I knew where his mind was going. Marc immediately called the fire department and invited them to train in our building. Given the history behind our building, it seemed very fitting. W.D. Hare, who had owned the parcel of land and built our building in 1891, was always lending his money and name to firefighters throughout Oregon. In particular, he enjoyed attending the FIREMEN'S GRAND DRESS BALL in Astoria. You can find Hare's name listed in the committee. Tickets were sold for $1.50 in 1877 (equivalent of $40 today) and all funds went to the fire department.
Needless to say, we decided to give a gallant nod to not only history and what firemen meant to everyone back in the 1800s, but what they mean to us today. Fire was an every day threat in the 1800s, when wood stoves and candles and lanterns were being used for everything. I can already imagine having a Firemen's Grand Dress Ball in our building!! And I am going on the record to say, that I am going to make that happen. Of course...I am getting ahead of myself! We did donate the first floor to the fire department to train. We would have let them use water inside the building, too, to clean up the place, but with 130 year old fire floors exposed and untreated...we decided to keep the training to demo. We didn't know exactly when the fire department would arrive, but we were hoping we would have an opportunity to watch them in full training mode.
Imagine our surprise at walking one afternoon after a downtown partnership meeting and witnessing the fire department jumping off the engine to make use of our building!
I wanted to thank the Hillsboro Fire Department for coming out and adding to the special moments this building will bring.