The Cedarburg Fire Departmentís Station 3 was the third
building to house the fire department in the course of its
history. The first building was not completed because there was
a lack of funds. At the time the municipal backing of the fire
department did not exist and individual members were paying for
the construction costs. This building was located at the corner
of Washington Ave. and Cleveland St. The equipment the fire
department did have at the time was housed in a shed behind the
Turn Halle. Turn Halle was located on the northwest corner of
Turner St. and Washington Ave.
In 1875 the fire department leased land from School District
No. 2 and built a new firehouse. The building was about 18'x38'.
After awhile the department purchased new hose and needed to
build a hose tower to dry it, so they did.
In 1893, the school district built the Lincoln building freeing
up space in the old school building. It was offered to the fire
department and was accepted. After some renovations the
department moved into the building shown in the picture above.
The hose tower was moved from the old building to this building. The lower level of the building
held all of the fire apparatus and the upper level of the
building was used as class rooms. The station was on
Washington Ave. where the current Community Gym stands.
On April 1, 1907 the firehouse started on fire and burnt to
the ground. The fire also consumed a neighboring building, the
Kuether hotel. The Grafton Fire Department was the first to
arrive and shortly after the Thiensville Fire Department came.
The horses that pulled the Thiensville steamer to the scene,
died upon arrival from over exhaustion. The Milwaukee Fire
Department also was notified and began to load a steam engine on
a rail car to help but they were called off before they left
Milwaukee. After the fire was put out, Cedarburg was left
without any firefighting equipment. The Milwaukee Fire
Department allowed Cedarburg to use some equipment until new
equipment was received.
The State of Wisconsin ordered Cedarburg to construct a new
firehouse to serve the community. The station was built on
Mequon Ave. next to the power plant. The building was opened in
1908. The fire department used the ground level and the basement
of the building. The ground level housed all the equipment and
in the back of the station a team of horses was housed. The
basement had a boiler and was connected to the steam engines
that were above so that they were always ready. The station also
has a hose tower which to this day is one of the tallest
structures in Cedarburg. The upstairs of the building was used
as City Hall.
In 1926 the fire department received its first motor driven
vehicle and two more vehicles in 1928. The apparatus doors on
the station had to be enlarged to fit the new equipment inside.
During the Great Depression, the building was added on to on the
north side. This addition originally housed the police
department and later the American Legion Ambulance. Another part
of the addition houses a well for Cedarburg Light and Water.
With the motorization of the fire department the rear of the
station was converted into a meeting room.
In 1927, the Cedarburg Public Library moved into the upstairs City Hall
Auditorium. In a Cedarburg News article from the time, it
was stated, "The new quarters are ideal and should prove a big
help in bringing the library into greater use and serve a
greater purpose." The library remained in the second floor of
the building until 1971.
The fire department made important strides while it was in
this station. In 1940 it purchased the county fairgrounds to
keep the Ozaukee County Fair in Cedarburg and to also raise
revenue for the organization. The community continued to grow
during the 1940ís and 1950ís. By the late 1950ís the station was
beginning to become cramped and inadequate for the needs of the
By 1963 the funds had been secured and the building had begun
on the new fire station. In 1964 the new station was opened and
became the active station. The old station was transformed into
a reserve station to house old equipment and also became the
maintenance shop. The old station was then given the number 2
with the active station receiving the number 1.
By 1973 all of the City Hall staff had left the building.
This allowed the upstairs of the building to be converted into
the headquarters of the fire prevention bureau. In 1987 the
Survive Alive House was built and has educated children in
Cedarburg ever since.
The station saw the refurbishment of many active and antique
apparatus. In 2000 one of active engines was refurbished and at
this time the apparatus bay of the station received a fresh coat
of paint. This station saw the complete construction of the Dive
Team trailer in 2002-2003. Throughout the 1990ís and early
2000ís the department added to its collection of antique
apparatus. These pieces of equipment along with the ones the
fire department retained throughout the years needed a place to
stay. It was only natural that the old station be used for this
purpose. By this time it was clear that the station would become
In June of 2005 a satellite station was built in the town and
was named Station 2. This caused the old station to be renamed
Station 3. Later on in 2005 Station 1 had work done on its floor
and Station 3 became active once again for a few weeks. However
this was only temporary and the station continues to be the
headquarters for fire prevention and the museum. In 2007 the
station received a new flag pole atop its hose tower after a few
years without one. This flag pole, illuminated at night, can be
seen for miles, and has become a fixture in the community.