Adrian Fire Department
Adrian founded its fire department in 1841. By 1851, it had 102 male volunteers, who served in two companies. They pulled hand pumpers and hose carts to fires, using water from city-built reservoirs. In 1867, the city began to use horses to pull its steam engines. Drivers were the only paid staff from 1867 until 1918, when the city hired its first firemen. Beginning in 1912, the city bought motorized fire trucks and retired its horses.
Adrian Engine House No. 1
In 1855, local architect and builder O.P. Smith designed and constructed Engine House No. 1. An 1867 renovation increased the hose-drying tower's height from twenty to seventy feet, making it a town landmark. Italianate elements are included in the Romanesque Revival building. When the Fire Department stopped using the engine house in 1987, it was Michigan's oldest fire hall in continuous use. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.