Thursday, April 9, 2009

Elkwood Fire Company No. 2, New Cumberland

I am going to start something new today. In the past when I did not have a major incident for the date I profiled a piece of apparatus from the Shippensburg Fire Department. Since I do not have all the rigs done that is not always an easy thing to do. Over the years I have been photographing past and present fire stations in Cumberland and Franklin Counties along with a database on each. Starting today I will begin on the West Shore with the lowest numbered company (New Cumberland, the first three post will all tie in together) and work my way to Shippensburg providing a BREIF history of the company’s with photographs of their firehouses. I will not spend much if any time on their apparatus, if I live long enough and the site remains up after I finish the two counties I will return to them with apparatus over the years. I will return to Shippensburg apparatus from time to time.

The Elkwood Fire Company No. 1 was organized August 1922. At the time Elkwood was a portion of Lower Allen Township and bordered New Cumberland. The citizens of Elkwood felt the need for fire protection and called a meeting in the Elkwood School House. In the meeting an organization was formed and officers were elected. In January 1923 a new Reo engine was ordered and on June 7 of that year the rig was delivered. The Reo was housed in a nearby stable until a permanent building could be erected.

In the spring of 1923 a lot was purchased for $200 and paid for by assessment of $2.00 upon the membership of the company. The building was immediately started and on January 1924 the company held their first meeting in the new firehouse (the third photo is of the original building).

In 1931 Elkwood became a part of New Cumberland Borough and the Elkwood Fire Company #1 changed their charted to reflect as the Elkwood Fire Company #2.

In August 1939 the company received their second piece of apparatus a 1939 Ward LaFrance (the rig and a brief history of the fire can be seen at this link On January 25, 1940 the unthinkable happened when the firehouse burnt to the ground destroying the 1923 Reo (photo four is the firehouse with the 1939 Ward during the fire). Chief Arnold estimated the loss at more than $20,000. Plans were started to rebuild and in the late summer of 1940 the cornerstone was laid. On December 7, 1940 the building was formally dedicated (photos five and six show the building at different time).

In 1950 the Elkwood fire station was enlarged with the addition of a social room at a cost of $22,000. And then in July 1956 the company purchased a 500 gpm GMC pumper built by Oren for $11,773.50. In 1966 the company again upgraded it’s apparatus with the purchase of a 750 gpm Hahn engine.

In September 1966 the Citizen’s Hose Co. #1 and the Elkwood Fire Company #2 merged to become the New Cumberland Fire Department. I have never confirmed it but it is written that this was the first time that two volunteer fire companies merged into one in the state of Pennsylvania.
Photos 7,8,9 and 10 show the Elkwood building as it appears today. The next installment will feature the Citizens Hose Company #1 of New Cumberland. If anyone has any corrections or additions to the brief history I would love to hear them.


Sparky said...

Is your Ward from Elkwood Fire Company?

Woody said...

I like what your doing. Very interesting post..

Seagrave said...

What great history,what a great story you have behind the engine that you own.
Your more then likely the only guy that has an engine that the hose bed was on fire when it left the station and then returns from a near by hydrant to fight the fire and then to actually have a picture of it sitting in front of the burnt out station. that is war stories and history at it`s best .

Haney said...

Hey, I've some pictures just like those last few.

Anonymous said...

Interesting stuff, Brad. Keep up the good work.


Bradley Myers said...

Thanks guys, some days I fell like not posting at all just to see if any one out there comes to life. It is nice to get some comments for a change and know people are reading the post and not just stopping by to look at a photo.