Engine House No. 9 around 1908—At the sound of the alarm the night watchman would open the stable gate (where the bar is located now) the horses would trot into position for harnessing and within 30 seconds the crew would have the steamer fire lit, pre-heat water pipes disconnected and be underway. The original accordion doors which were spring-loaded opened in seconds causing the horses to bolt out much like a horse race track.
Engine House No. 9 was built in 1907 to provide fire protection for Tacoma’s North End. For many years it served as battalion headquarters.
It was the last station in Tacoma to convert from horse-drawn to mechanized equipment—in 1919 when Rufus Harben and Earle More made the final symbolic run aboard an Amoskeg steam pumper drawn by the horses Nip, Dick and Joe.
Engine House No. 9 was in service until 1965 when it was abandoned and fell into disrepair. Vandals touched off no less than three fires in the building in the ensuing seven years. Although the structure remained, it was stripped and battered and its bones exposed to winter snow and rain when it was discovered by a young newspaper reporter in 1971.
Win Anderson and Bob Lane purchased and restored the building, converting the lower floor to a tavern and the second story into an apartment.
In August of 2011 the Xitco and Paradise families, having been longtime admirers of Engine House No. 9, became proprietors and stewards of one of Tacoma’s Historical Landmarks.
Today the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places
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