Uxbridge-Scott Historical SocietyA window into the past
Uxbridge Firefighters Memorial Statue and Garden
Over the years the members of the Uxbridge Fire Department talked about doing something to recognize their fallen. With the move the new fire hall they realized they now had the appropriate space and location to do something meaningful not only for the department but also for the town. And as they approached the significant milestone of 150 years of the Uxbridge Fire Department in 2024 they felt the timing was ideal.
A Rich History
In 1873 the town experienced several significant fires. The Dominion block on Brock Street just east of Church Street burned, and later the Brown and Forest Mill on Brock St. West was reduced to a pile of ashes. An even bigger fire got it’s start in Mr. Bolsters stable on the southside of Brock Street just east of Main Street. The blaze raced eastward to Marietta Street, consuming three other properties. There was immediately a great call for a fire engine, and a bylaw was readily passed by town council to allow for the purchase of one, along with pumps and hoses. In response to the need for better fire protection, a proper fire brigade was formed. In those days, fire equipment had to be moved by hand. Carts with hoses had to be pulled by hand until someone hitched a horse to one to be able to pull it around much easier. This led to a more elaborate “ladder truck” and then in 1923, a Ford fire truck with a water tank was purchased.
Over the years the protective clothing, tools and equipment of the fire service has evolved, but the one constant has been the dedication and professionalism of the men and women of Uxbridge Fire.
Over the past 18 months the groundwork has been laid for the memorial garden project. Presentations have been made to council, a local landscape architect has designed the overall site and garden, and local sculpture Tyler Briley has created a unique statue that will be the centerpiece of the memorial garden. The memorial will honor those that have died in the line of duty and those that passed away while in active service.
Now the work of fundraising gets underway. The projected cost of the project is $240,000, with the life-size bronze statue on a granite base being the focal point. The vision is to create a park-like garden setting with trees and other plant material, sidewalks and benches, lighting, and detailed stamped concrete. The fire fighters also see an opportunity to create an attractive garden area that will be visually appealing at a key gateway from the west when entering town, and a way to increase the integration of the fire hall into the community by giving people an area of reflection and rest near the trail system, the Uxbridge-Scott Historical museum, and the Quaker Meeting House.
The fire fighters have partnered with the Uxbridge Scott Historical Society to make this worthwhile project a reality. You can stop by the firehall to pick up a brochure or go online at www.ushs.ca/firefighter to learn more.