Jan Campbell is a Bangorism that I have known and respected for years now. She started a company just after high school by the name of “Cakes by Jan”, and from her home kitchen she created works of art that tasted as good as they looked. Her business grew and she moved a few times before settling into that beautifully maintained brick shop at the top of Hammond Street Hill. She created a reputation for quality and whenever you needed a wedding, birthday or anniversary cake, it would be prepared by Jan. Throughout my real estate career, I have connected with Jan annually while preparing my “famous” gingerbread houses. When Jan contacted me recently saying that she was ready to retire and do some of the things that she hasn’t had time to do, (like woodworking and goldsmithing…..amazing!), I learned a great deal more about her and the building that she has conducted her business from for the past three decades.
The Holly Hose Fire Station was built in 1888 at the top of Hammond Street Hill, another Bangorism that I just learned of.
At the time of its construction, the fire carriages were horse drawn and although set in this urban environment, the horses were kept in the back of the building and the carriages were kept in the front. When the alarm would blow, the team of horses were brought to the front of the station, hitched and then off and running. The first team to the fire was the team that would be paid. Being at the top of the hill, Holly Hose had an advantage. As we walked through the building I wondered about the pole. Interestingly, the Holly Hose was one of the only stations without a pole; there is a front staircase and a back staircase. The layout of the building is such that the first floor is open with high ceilings, and the second floor served as an open bunk room. The self propelled fire engine was the demise of old Holly Hose as there was a private hospital across the street. The location became impractical as new equipment took a pounding from withstanding a foot drop to Hammond Street from the ground floor threshold, and the length would not allow the engines to navigate the turn easily.
The Holly Hose is now available to you after three decades. Conveniently, there is adjacent parking. Jan has updated the roof, windows, electrical, masonry, and most recently added a new natural gas boiler.
Manly the Fireman and the Ladder Engine will convey to continue to watch over the well being of the old Holly Hose #7 and all of the good people that grace its doors.