We are the Traverse City Fire Department with a long and proud history. Formed in 1877 by a supportive community subscription drive raising $1,512.00 to fund our fledgling Fire Department. A station house was built at 118 Cass Street (which is now home of Hanna Bistro and Bar). Two engines were purchased and crewed by volunteers. These engines were staffed by prominent members of our community, such as J. W. Milliken, B. J. Morgan, Julius Hannah and J. Martinek. These town leaders organized crews into two teams, known as "Wide Awake" and "Invincible."
In the early days horses were borrowed to pull the engines to the fire. Sometimes, when horses were not readily available, the men had to pull the engines themselves. In 1881 the City was incorporated and the first professional Fire Chief was hired. By 1905 the city had 10 paid firefighters on duty 24/7. By the end of WW1 the City Fire Department was phasing out the horse-drawn, steam-powered fire engines, switching to modern motor driven engines. On September 29, 1939, the Firefighters of Traverse City received their charter from the International Association of Firefighters, hereafter known as Local 646.