Thursday, November 20, 2008

Cumberland Valley Fire Company’s First Engine

The only major incident to occur on this date in the Shippensburg area was in 1951 and that was posted last year.

The Cumberland Valley Fire Company’s first engine was actually purchased before the company was formed. Sometime after the Alert Fire Company gas destroyed their hand engine and disbanded, Shippensburg Borough Council felt the need for a second engine in town.

In June 1858 council contacted John Agnew a prominent engine builder in Philadelphia to acquire a hand engine. Council asked that Mr. Agnew supply them with an engine suited for work in this town with no suction and that it be named the “Cumberland Valley”. Mr. Agnew was to use his own discretion as to the color of paint, height of the wheels and breadth of the engine.

The Cumberland Valley Railroad delivered the engine in February 1859. Council paid $700.00 for the hand pumper.

It is unknown what happened to the engine but in 1877 after the company reorganized, another Philadelphia style hand engine was purchased for the company. There was never any mention of the company operating two engines at this time so I believe it was disposed of when the new engine arrived. Unfortunately I have no photographs of this rig nor have I ever seen any.

For those of you that do not know the Vigilant Hose Company unveiled their new and improved web site yesterday, stop by and check it out. And in case you missed it the Cumberland Valley Hose Company released their new site on October 14. All the Shippensburg Fire and EMS links are in the right hand column.

The other day when I posted the information on Dick Holtry, Jeff asked if I would post his address so people could send cards. Here is his home address:

Richard S. Holtry, 111Springhouse Road Shippensburg, Pa. 17257

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