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Fire Department

Before any formal fire department was established there was a clapboard garage behind the Town Hall (old jail) where metal pack-sacks with hand pumps were stored and used by anyone who volunteered.


Later, Myron Austin devised a 500 gallon tank in the back of a 3-ton truck, using a forestry gas pump and hoses. Chapleau, who was updating their equipment, donated their used pumps, tools and some hoses. This was also manned by whomever was available. Water for the tank was obtained from the INCO Nairn power house. By-law Number 73-10, October 9th, 1973, established the Nairn Fire Department and the construction of the fire station. A new pumper was also purchased at a cost of $28,893.



The first fire chief was Robert Salter. In 1974 Wayne Westcott served as fire chief until 1979. From then to present, Wayne Austin has served very ably as fire chief. In April 1974, a self contained fire truck was purchased. Then around 1980 a second truck was bought. It was equipped for basic auto extrication and basic forest fire fighting. Presently, fifteen firemen are trained twice monthly to keep current on equipment and new methods. Pagers and radio equipment were installed in the fire trucks between 1985 - 86.


With the logging of primarily white pine bringing prosperity to our area, men needed a place to spend their money and let off steam, so approximately 1890-91 the first hotel, called the Klondike was built and managed by Mr. H. McLean, the first clerk for the township. The name would change to the New Klondike and then finally, as it is called now, the King George. Soon after the Klondike Hotel was in operation Malcolm MacDonald with true enterprising spirit employed William Hall to build the Nelson House on the south side of Front Lane.


This establishment was destroyed in a fire but Mr. MacDonald had it rebuilt. Later, when the logging industry wasn't quite as lucrative he would have the building torn down (c. 1926). Some time later, a man named James Taylor constructed a hotel near the rail crossing, which turned out to be on C.P.R. land and just as it was going to be removed it burned to the ground. This may have been the King Edward Hotel. Although these hotels were very successful during the boom time of the logging industry the only survivor in 1996 is the King George Tavern.