Exploring the east side of Elk Rapids

Posted on April 15, 2011


For the last couple of days I’ve had business in Elk Rapids.  Katherine and I went down there for our Environmental Art class, about which much more later in its very own post.  On our way home we had to stop to take pictures of an east side house that has drifts of scilla in bloom.

The next day was cloudy, but I found something to brighten it up.

I have a weakness for brightly colored houses.  Remember the orange one in Bellaire?   I also have a weakness for this sort of building. 

Rob the Firefighter knows what it is.

It’s the hose tower at Hose House No. 2 on the east side of Elk Rapids, Michigan, vintage 1892, long since turned into someone’s garage.

Once the firefighters got done using all the hoses that snaked across the working area at a fire, they bundled them up and took them back to the firehouse and hung them up to dry. No, they did not launder them first.  I looked it up, and some fire departments still use towers. Others have drying racks. Others lay out the wet hoses on the heated floors in the bays.  They wash them when they get really dirty.  We’ll have to ask RTFF what they do in Detroit. I’m tempted to say that in Torch Lake Township the hoses never get wet to begin with, but sadly enough that is not true.

All of this reminds me – this is wildfire season in Michigan.  The woods are tinder dry, and the winds kick up without warning. Now you know.