By Laura Di Bello
Langley Firehouses of Yesterday and Today
What we know today as Callahan’s Firehouse Studio and Gallery, located at 179 Second Street in Langley, was from the mid 1950’s until the year 2008, the city of Langley’s Firehouse. Prior to that Langley has quite a history of locations that it used as firehouses around town. The following photographs and text depict a timeline and what we know of that history.
Langley’s first fire engine referenced to as a “fire apparatus,” was purchased by the town of Langley in 1914 from Columbia Engineering Works. A modified Ford, dated 1922, was sold to the city by Fred Walingford. Both vehicles were parked behind the building, located at 111 Anthes Avenue on the corner of McLeod Alley in Langley.
The building was originally owned by the Funk family and was used as a beauty parlor until or around the year 1939. The original building burned in the mid 1930’s and was replaced by the current building in 1939 by Mr. Dettrich who ran a beauty parlor there.
From 1935 – 1937 Langley’s fire engine was stored in what the city knew as its combination firehouse and city hall. The building was located on the alley to the left rear of the property, which is now the Clyde Theater on First Street in Langley.
Mr. & Mrs. Peters in the 1950’s standing on the property, which is now the home of Useless Bay Coffee Company on 2nd Street in Langley. To the left of Mr. Peters we can see the building with siren perched above that was used to store the fire engine until the building was destroyed by fire some time during the 1950’s.
The next photographs depict Langley’s first proper firehouse, built in the 1950’s, now known as Callahan’s Firehouse Studio and Gallery.
The bottom right photograph depicts the renovation extending the height of the left of the two doors. The addition that we see to the firehouse today which includes an extension on the back of the building and a second story was added in 1978.
In 2008 a new firehouse was built at 565 Camano Avenue in Langley, making the Second Street firehouse available for a new occupant. Looking for a larger studio at that time Callahan saw this as the perfect home for his studio and gallery and in 2009 established Callahan’s Firehouse Studio & Gallery. With over 3,000 square feet of space, the firehouse sees hundreds of visitors per year, with Callahan offering the glass blowing experience as well as an opportunity to purchase original glass art.