David A. Dorsey
Canada Hose Company
400-402, North Mechanic Street, Cumberland, Allegany County
The Canada Hose Company is a 2-story gable-front structure of brick laid in common bond except on the north facade, which is all stretcher bond. The gable roof is covered with asphalt shingles and the eaves are decorated with brackets. The 3-bay-wide north facade has a doorway in the central bay flanked by windows. The second floor has three round-arched windows. The door is modern and the transom above it is boarded up. The east end has two sets of double doors on the first floor and a huge, round-arched window on the second. The doors used for the fire engines are made of diagonal boards braced by chamfered vertical and cross members. Above these doors is a sign which reads "Cumberland Hose Co. No. 1." The window above is divided into four parts. In the semicircle at the top are two quarter circles of two fixed lights each. Below this are two tall, narrow fixed sash of four lights each. The wide molding around the window has a small molding at the bottom of the semicircle, giving the feeling of pilasters. The window has a stone sill. The west end has a double-door entrance covered with asbestos cement boards. On the second floor of this facade is a double window consisting of two tall, narrow, round-arched windows joined together. The plain wood trim around the 6/4 sash windows also has moldings giving the appearance of pilasters. The south facade is a solid brick wall with an addition on its west half. The addition is a two-story shed-roofed frame structure encased in asbestos cement boards. It has three one-light windows with fixed sash. A four-panel door with two-light transom provides access to the section. The wood lintels over the fire engine doors, the openings on the south facade, and the stone lintel over the sealed doors on the west are all connected by a brick belt course that runs around the east, north, and west sides. The belt course has returns on the south facade. The building has two interior brick chimneys an a vent pipe on the roof. A star bolt at the end of a tie rod is visible on the south facade at the east end. Interior trim is simple, involving baseboards, chair rails, and wainscoting, and the stair to the second floor is partially enclosed with two flights, one landing, a plain string, and a plain, heavy wooden rail.
This is the oldest of a number of old firehouses built in Cumberland during the 19th century. In 1837 and 1839 the city gave the volunteer organization a fire engine, "four ladders, three hooks, four axes, and thirty dollars towards erecting a house." The house was completed in 1845. As a group firehouses are the most interesting buildings in Cumberland. The Canada Hose Company, with large double doors and large arched windows, stands out as a symbol of the public spirit of earlier citizens of Cumberland.