Thursday, April 29, 2010

Citizen's Fire Co., Lemoyne

The only major incidents to occur on this date were in 1859 and 1975, they were posted the last two years. Last year on days when I had nothing from Shippensburg to post I started to post a brief history and photographs from Cumberland County fire departments. The idea was to start with the lowest numbers and work my way through the county before starting Franklin County departments. In the past I posted the three New Cumberland Fire companies so brings me to Cumberland County Co. 11, Lemoyne.

Citizen's Fire Co. No. 1 Lemoyne

On June 19, 1905, a meeting was held in the Witman Building at Third and Rossmoyne Streets for the purpose of organizing a fire company for the Borough of Lemoyne. The temporary chairman was William C. Bowman. Meetings were held once a week. Speakers were obtained from surrounding companies, and election of permanent officers took place.

On July 6, 1906, the Borough Council officially recognized the new company. The first by-laws and a constitution were drawn up and approved on July 17, 1906. The first hose was purchased on July 31 of the same year, at 70 cents per foot. Five-hundred feet hose and one nozzle was purchased.

The first hose carriage was purchased in 1907 and placed in the stable of Dr. John Bowman. The fire apparatus was moved frequently from garage to stable. The company purchased a tract of land on Hummel Avenue and a temporary wooden structure was built for $36.00. The second hose cart was received in 1910, and the former one was dismantled.

In 1911 a the land with the temporary fire station was sold for $1,300 and another lot bought on Herman Avenue, now occupied by the fire house. The contract for the construction of the permanent fire house was awarded to W.E. Bushey for $3,375 on March 17, 1914. On September 5 of that year the fire apparatus was moved to the new building. The first photograph shows this building as it was originally built and before modifications were made.

On November 19, 1919 the residents of Lemoyne voted to loan the company $7,000 to purchase their first motor driven fire truck. In 1923 a fire alarm system was installed, with individual corner boxes. In 1938 a new Hahn pumper was purchased and the first motorized pumper was sent out to be remodeled.

In 1939 a hose tower was constructed in the rear of the building. This can be seen in the three recent photographs of the present building. In 1940 the apparatus was turned over to the borough. In 1951 an emergency unit was purchased (second photo, second from the right) bringing the fleet to three rigs. A new building an addition was constructed to on the west side of the present building in 1952 and 53. The second photograph shows the new addition well (note the difference in the brick on the two story portion of the building). In 1954 a Peter Pirsch engine was purchased (second photo, far right) and in 1955 another emergency unit was purchased, which was used as a police patrol wagon (second photo, second from the left). This brought the companies fleet to five all of which are pictured on photo #2.

Over the years the company purchased and sold additional fire apparatus. In 1976 the fire station was again remodeled, the last three photograph show the building as it appears today and after the remodeling.

In 1997 talks were started with the Wormleysburg Fire Company to form a new organization. On January 1, 1998 a new organization was formed between the two companies and is known as the West Shore Bureau of Fire. The company now operates with the number 13 and the apparatus is ran from two stations. The old Citizens building now houses an engine, squad, air and utility truck. In the recent past I have read articles in the local new papers stating that the company is interested in constructing a new building.

Information for this article was obtained from a 1975 and 1979 CCVFA convention book. Remember clicking on the photographs will make them get larger.


Sparky said...

Nice article. I enjoy reading about the history of the fire companys, stations, & apparatus. I can remember as a kid riding around to all the fire houses with my brother. Hey when you retire, have you thought about writing a history book of the fire service of the area?

Brad Myers said...

Won't happen, there is no market for it, just another way to loose money.