In the old French Quarter of Charleston, DC is a unique remnant of German-American history. Located on Chalmers Street in downtown Charleston stands the historic German Fire Steam Engine Company building. The German Fire Steam Engine Company was founded in 1830 and incorporated in 1833. Until the city’s first municipal fire department was founded in 1882, fire companies in Charleston were either privately-operated businesses or run by volunteers and slaves. Charleston was especially vulnerable to fire because harbor winds carried flames quickly among the peninsula’s densely-packed neighborhoods. Because of this, several fire companies, many of them ethnically-based, were established throughout the city in the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. The building was erected in 1851, and today houses a law firm.
8 Chalmers Street, Charleston, SC, USA