A peek inside the history of Fairborn’s first fire station

  • Tom Gilliam
10:29 a.m. Monday, Jan. 30, 2017 History
Exterior of Fairborn Old Fire Station #1 when the building was known as Bath Consolidated Schools, undated. Courtesy of the Fairborn Area Historical Society.

This week on The Buildings of Dayton, I'm going to tell you the story of Fairborn Old Fire Station #1, located at 29 N. Broad St. in downtown Fairborn.  

Exterior of Fairborn Old Fire Station #1, undated. Courtesy of the Fairborn Area Historical Society.

The building, originally constructed in 1884 as Bath Township Consolidated Schools on Main Street (now Broad) in the village of Fairfield, was built to replace three smaller schools in Bath Township. Bath High School was located in two rooms on the second floor, while Fairfield High School took up the second floor's third room. The Fairfield Grade School was located on the first floor. 

Fairborn Old Fire Station #1, November 2, 2016. PHOTO / TOM GILLIAM

Osborn, a nearby village founded in 1850, eventually moved alongside Fairfield after the Great Flood of 1913 due to the Miami Conservancy District’s construction of the Huffman Dam. In 1921, the Osborn Removal Company moved the majority of Osborn's buildings a mile and a half east from the flood plain created by the dam in order to be saved. 

In 1924, the new Bath Township Consolidated School #2 opened on 221 N. Central Ave. Today, the building is known as the Fairborn Senior Apartments and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  

Fairborn Old Fire Station #1, November 2, 2016. PHOTO / TOM GILLIAM

Bath Township Consolidated School #1 was then converted into a multipurpose facility. Fairfield City Hall and the Fairfield Fire Department shared the property until January 1, 1950, when the villages Fairfield and Osborn officially merged to become the incorporated City of Fairborn. Around this time, the building was dedicated as a firehouse and was renamed Fairborn Fire Station #1.  

After over 80 years of service to the Fairborn community, the fire station was vacated on January 5, 2007 when the new Fairborn Fire Department Station #1 was completed down the street on 495 N. Broad St. 

Fairborn Old Fire Station #1, November 2, 2016. PHOTO / TOM GILLIAM

The building, currently owned by the City of Fairborn, is vacant except for the first floor, which is being used as an equipment storage facility by the Fairborn City Street Department. The Fairborn Development Corporation, the City of Fairborn government's economic development department, is currently showing the property to potential owners in order to get the building redeveloped and occupied. 

Janel Ranly, Economic Development Specialist for the City of Fairborn and the Fairborn Development Corporation, sees the potential for adaptive reuse of the building. 

"We believe that this would be a great location for some type of brewpub/brewery operation, although we are open to a local type restaurant going into the space as well,” Ranly said. “We envision this being a true catalytic project to help us revitalize the Broad Street and Main Street (downtown) area.”

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