The More Things Change The More They Stay The Same
Fortunately, the bell didn’t last long. By April 1902, the bell was replaced with a compressed-air whistle. No one was happy about it. The whistle was way worse than the bell. It also had a big problem. The compressor froze in cold weather. That’s not very helpful for an emergency system in a mountain town that experiences a long and freezing winter.
Instead, the system was replaced again in 1905 by an electrically powered system operated by the phone company. Unfortunately, that system wasn’t perfect either. The phone company didn’t communicate perfectly with the fire department. On at least one occasion, a building burned to the ground without the alarm making a peep.
That wasn’t the last system, either. In 1916, the whistle got another update. That update didn’t work at all. The city fathers had to immediately order new parts and appointed a night watchman in the meantime. It finally reached functional status in 1917, and has continued to sound faithfully at 10:00 p.m. each and every night.