Old Fire Station No. 1

On April 6, 1909, the building that Original Fire Station No 1housed the Cape Girardeau Fire Department and Police Department was completed at the corner of Independence and Frederick streets. This location was considered to be the center of the city at the time. This building replaced the market building, which was built in 1852, and the jailhouse, which was built in 1856. The jailhouse had also housed the fire department’s equipment. The hose sheds were also consolidated into this location.

The new building at the center of the city was brick with a stone foundation, two stories high, 34 feet by 40 feet with a slate roof. The main building was used for police headquarters and the police court on the first floor. The second floor housed the jail cells, which were provided by the Pauley Jail Company of St. Louis.

The rear of the building was a one-story addition to be used by the fire department as its headquarters. It also served to house fire apparatus and for the stabling of the horses.

The building cost around $8,000. The cost of the jail and fire department fixtures and appliances were about $4,000 more. Several additions would be completed throughout the years.

The current River Heritage Museum is housed in the old Fire Station No. 1. They have a variety of exhibits located there, including a fire department display featuring a 1950 American LaFrance Ladder Truck.

For more information, contact the River Heritage Museum at 573-334-0405.

Information provided courtesy of the Southeast Missourian


  • Contact Info
  • 1 South Sprigg Street Cape Girardeau, MO 63703
  • Telephone 573.339.6330
  • Email capefire@cityofcape.org