Friday, March 18, 2011

Rand and Fire

This is the Rand House which was built in 1896. It was actually built for Henry Town who was an Englishman who is reported to have made his fortune in South Africa's 1870s Diamond Rush.

So you may now be thinking why is this called the Rand House when it was built for a man named Town? Well you see Town had a sister named Laura and she married W.J. Edward E. Rand. Rand came from Canning Nova Scotia to New Westminster in 1882 to join his brother who had moved to BC a few years earlier.

The brothers got together and formed the real estate company the Rand Brothers. In 1885 Rand moved to the city of Granville - which was incorporated as Vancouver the next year - and recognized that there was a great future in store for this city and the province of British Columbia.

The Rand Brothers operated a highly successful real estate company until 1897 when Edward bought out his brother's interest in the company. The company is now one of the oldest continually conducted under one name in Vancouver. It is now Rand & Fowler Insurance.

Not too far from the Rand House, on Nicola Street this time, is the Number 6 Firehall.

Built in 1907 by architect Arthur J. Bird this is said to be the first firehouse built in North America that was capable of accomodating motor vehicles. Bird was looking ahead because until 1908, horse drawn units were still used.

Bird was the City Architect and he was also responsible for the addition on the south side.

Interesting lawn decorations on the Nicola Street entrance.
In 1988 Henry Hawthorn Architects rehabilitated the building so that it could continue to serve the community with grace and beauty.

It's funny. When I took this photo I never noticed the horseshoe at the top of the door!

I did however take the time to notice this plaque.

I made certain to get a photo of this and post it here to remind us that the job of a firefighter is not an easy one nor is it guaranteed to be safe. Whenever a fire breaks out we expect these men and women to come to our rescue and to save our possessions and maybe even our lives. To any fire fighter who is reading this I would like to say thank you.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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