This collection consists of three early business records of the Grand Rapids Fire Department (GRFD). A ledger book records the regular meetings and alarms of the department. An inventory book from engine house #11 contains a sketch of monthly expenses during the first years of the 20th century. Finally, a list of alarm box locations - with corresponding operating instructions - is also present. The GRFD was charted in 1857 and approved in 1859. The department was managed by the board of Police and Fire Commissioners - who appointed a Fire Marshal annually. At first, only hand-operated fire engines were used, although in 1865 the city purchased its first steam-powered engine. Until the late 1880s, the Fire Department included eight engine houses, several engines, horse carts, and wagons and significant miscellaneous assets.
A full listing of the contents of this collection can be found in the finding aid that is attached to the media section of this catalog entry.