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Charlestown Engine 50 to mark 100th anniversary

Thursday marks the 100th anniversary for Engine 50 at 34 Winthrop Street in Charlestown, a site that has housed a fire station dating back to 1853.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff/File 2017

One of the oldest fire stations in the country is having a birthday party.

Thursday marks the 100th anniversary for Engine 50 at 34 Winthrop Street in Charlestown, a site that has housed a fire station dating back to 1853. To celebrate, the Charlestown Historical Society is hosting an event, with the help of the Boston Fire Department, to mark the occasion.

“This building is built into the community,” Julie Hall from the Charlestown Historical Society said. “They really are a part of our family.”

The celebration begins at 11 a.m. Thursday at the foot of the Bunker Hill Memorial, as the station itself is currently under renovation.

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Hall said the celebration will feature antique firetrucks on loan from the Boston Fire Museum. In addition, artifacts and historical fire logs will be on display in the Bunker Hill Museum, and a number of retired firefighters will be on hand.

Boston Fire Department spokesman Marc Sanders said Engine 50 has been a part of a few notable events throughout its existence, including a series of protests to keep the firehouse open in 1981 and a short-lived period when Engine 50’s firetrucks were painted lime green.

In the early 1980s, Sanders said the city was facing financial hardship and began closing a number of firehouses, including Engine 50.

“The residents of Charlestown rallied against the closing and rebelled,” Sanders said, holding a series of rallies and sit-ins until the city reopened the station in May 1981.

According to Sanders, there has been a fire station at 34 Winthrop Street since 1853. When Boston annexed Charlestown in 1874, the firehouse saw a number of fire companies occupying the building, until 1917, when the building was closed for renovations. On July 26, 1918, the building reopened and housed the newly formed Engine Company 50.

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The station is currently under renovation and is scheduled to reopen sometime this fall, Sanders said.


Marek Mazurek can be reached at marek.mazurek@globe.com.