The land for this site was sold to the Town way back in Feb 1919 for the purpose of providing land for a fire station. Then in May of 1928 a final piece of land was added by purchase from William C. Chase (Donald Ryders grandfather) for $600 to complete the final tract needed for a new fire house which was eventually completed. Fifty years later, in 1978 the Town bought the 2.5 acre parcel out back for $14,000 "for use in connection with the Fire Station or other municipal purposes." (article 62, Town Meeting April 5, 1978.
When the Fire Department moved into its new Fire Headquarters on Sisson Road in 1995, the Harbormaster and Natural Resources Department took over the full use of the Old Fire House located at 203 Bank Street. Here we work on and store the pumpout equiptment, carts and boats and rebuild stuff. In 2008, the Board of Selectmen unanimously voted to retain control of the front parcel of land, currently occupied by the workshop of Harbormaster or for future needs of the Town. The discussion stemmed from a recommendation made by the Operations Review Task Force, which advised the town to consider selling surplus land to raise cash and increase the property tax rolls.
For much of the same reasons the Old Fire House was in a great spot due to its convenient location to the three harbors and its layout, the workshop at 203 Bank Street is critical to the needs of the Harbormaster and Natural Resources Department from time to time there is talk of the Town selling this land to temporarily help reduce taxes.
If the Town were to sell this land it would lose opportunity for any future purposes of this the closest parcel of land that it owns to Harwich Port. By relocating the our shop to Queen Anne Road as an example, it would increase the round trip travel time for each employee from Saquatucket Harbor from 4 minutes to 30 minutes, severely cutting into worker productivity on nearly every project. This would also separate us from our focus at the waterfront. The site has other benefits serving the needs of a myriad of non-profit groups which would be hard placed to find an alternative situation. It also functions as a parking site for the adjacent cranberry bog trail and annex boat trailer parking for Saquatucket Harbor. The building is also available for annex storage in the second story for town departments if needed. Only the back shop is heated when considered necessary.
The shop Counter where you can greet Dockhand Larry Chandler
who knows the ropes about bottom painting, splicing,
fiberglassing and welding. He is a good all-round tradesman
Here is Larry repainting regulatory buoys on the main shop floor.
He is also proficient at sign lettering a lost art.
The High School has permission from the Town Selectmen to store the sailing team 420's in one of the bays. Harbormaster Tom Leach volunteers his time as sailing coach with History teacher John Dickson.
Last here is the extra store room which usually is filled to the brim with gear.