We now know of roughly 30 fire departments or organizations that no longer exist in Marin County. According to retired Marin County FD Senior Captain & Historian Pete Martin, almost all of the West Marin communities had volunteer fire departments before the Marin County FD came into existence in 1941. So far we were aware of departments that no longer existed in West Marin in Point Reyes, Olema, Bello Beach, Tomales, and possibly San Geronimo. This is in addition to FD's that still serve in Muir Beach, Stinson Beach, Bolinas, Inverness, and Nicasio. Tomales today has a volunteer fire company based at the Marin County FD station, supplementing the County staff and equipment when needed.
While doing research on another topic, we came across articles detailing another department from long ago, that of Forest Knolls. The creation of the group may have been motivated by the disastrous fires on 1923 around Northern California, including in Marin County. In particular, that fire devastated the neighboring community of Woodacre.
So far, we only have one possible photograph, consisting of an old fire chemical engine and a chemical hose cart, with an unknown woman sitting on the front of the cart. We are now publishing the story of what we know so far, thanks primarily to articles from the old San Anselmo Herald. Thanks also to retired Marin County FD Senior Captain Greg Jennings, for providing the photograph that may show the fire equipment Forest Knolls used. Research will continue, and for now you can review what we know so far.
Our Blog announces new site content, and gives the context of the topic and it's relationship to fire service history. Written by Bill Lellis & Paul Smith