Dover Village Bucket Brigade (circa 1906)

When fire broke out in the Phillips Hotel on Center Ridge Road in 1906, the Dover Township Methodist Church bell clanged long and hard, a cry for help. Everyone able rushed to the scene, and the Dover Bucket Brigade was formed. Since a supply of spirits was stored in the basement of the hotel, the volunteer firefighters made every effort to save the stash. Although the fire won the match, the spirits were somehow rescued. As a result, several members of the Bucket Brigade salvaged their own spirits as soon as the fire was out.
Three years later, Dr. Lathrop interrupted a boxing match in the Town Hall. “Fire across the street!” he cried. The Bucket Brigade once again raced to the scene. But be that as it may, Jim Hurst’s Country Store burned to the ground that evening, along with William Ziska’s barber shop next door.
The grist mill stood on the banks of Cahoon Creek at Center Ridge Road. On a cold November evening in 1911, a fire started. The familiar landmark turned to smoldering ash by morning, despite the valiant efforts of the Bucket Brigade.
By 1920, the Bucket Brigade was replaced by the town's first fire truck, a four-tank 35-gallon soda/acid chemical pumper.
If you have any information you would like to share about Westlake's fire department, then or now, we would love to hear from you. We welcome questions, too!
If you want to see pictures of the history of Westlake's fire department, please visit our digital collection link at

The Local Historian

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