Ring of fire!


In a recent post about the New Providence Presbyterian Church, I showed an old image of the church with a fire gong in front of it. Careful reader KK asked if it was the same fire gong that currently resides in front of the New Providence Fire Department, and I had no answer.

New Providence Presbyterian Church, c. 1910

Having since investigated the situation, I will hazard a guess: No, probably not.

The Old Fire Ring, circa 1899. Dedicated to all the past and present firefighters of the New Providence Fire Dept. Fireman's Day, September 11, 1999.

(1) The New Providence Fire Department wasn’t formed until 1902/1903. The plaque above the gong dates it to about 1899. While it’s possible that New Providence initially reused some other town’s four-year-old fire ring, it seems fishy.

(2) If it were indeed one of New Providence’s own originals, wouldn’t that be something worth noting on the plaque?

(3) Why would they wait until 1999 to dedicate a fire ring that had already been sitting around here for almost 100 years?

I’ll bet it was a special occasion, and the department thought an old fire ring would be a cool thing to put in front of their new building (c. 1995), so they found one (on eBay?) and bought it and put it up. But that’s just what I’d do.

(If you know more about this, please tell me in the comments!)

One Comment to “Ring of fire!”

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