After 42 years of fighting fires with only bucket brigades and a hand pumper, on April 11, 1896, the taxpayers of Cold Spring Harbor called for a public meeting to consider forming a Fire Department. At that meeting, the community voted to use the Teal Building, a former harness shop, as Cold Spring Harbor’s first Fire House at an annual rental “ not to exceed forty ($40.00) dollars”, to purchase an improved Hook and Ladder Truck and form a Fire District that would extend in one mile radius of the building.
The Teal Building served as Headquarters for the Department’s Hook and Ladder Company #1 until 1906 when a new fire house was constructed that could house both the Department’s Hook and Ladder Company and Phenix Engine Company that had provided fire protection to the community since 1852. The fire department continued to use the Teal Building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, until 2008, when the planned expansion of the Department’s third headquarters building threatened its demolition.
After a four year effort, the Teal Building was saved, moved and restored to its original appearance. In anticipation of dedicating its future use as a Museum, an addition was added and the Cold Spring Harbor Fire House Museum whose mission is to celebrate the history of the community and it’s Volunteer Fire Department, was formed.