In 1886, the first piece of equipment purchased by the borough; was a hand drawn chemical wagon. The two wheeled hand drawn cart and buckets were the town's only fire protection until 1890. Fire hydrants were installed in the borough in 1890, and hose carts. In 1894 a ladder wagon was added to the
fleet. The equipment was never horse-drawn, but was hand-drawn until motorized vehicles were bought in 1916. The hose cart bougt in 1897 for $125 was restored and placed at West Overton Museums in 1957. Past chiefs in this image are (from left) Cecil P. Loucks, 1952-54; Albert Reynolds, 1941-45; H.L. Beegle, 1930-40; and Roy Baker, 1907.
Several fires of considerable magnitude occurred in 1895, and the community felt some type of organization was needed to protect Scottdale.
In April of 1886 a meeting was held in the Opera House, but nothing was accomplished until July 8, 1886. W.N.Porter was previously chosen chief, announced the following appointments: Robert Garret and J.P Owens, captains. John L. Dick, chief, James A. Fee and John A. Ray, lieutenants. And the department had one hand drawn chemical fire wagon.
Shortly thereafter another wagon was purchased, and in 1890 the department added four hose carts, and a hook and ladder truck (wagon). The first fire signals (alarms) were the whistle for the rolling mill, Charlotte furnace, or by chance steam locomotive at the train station.
By 1899, Scottdale was known as one of the best-equipped volunteer fire departments in the state. The membership was 82 and all were uniformed.
The 1899 officers were: J.C. Morrow,president; J.D. Sisley, vice president; D.N. Carroll, treasurer; I.F. Boles, secretary; and W.N. Porter, chief.
Here is an image of the Fourth Ward fire department on the corner of Broadway and Fifth Avenue. The 1921 image shows the station's original wooden swinging doors for the truck bay. The lawn also shows two well manicured plantings. Notice the rotunda flower bed to the left. This mirrored the round rotunda flower bed at the train station on the corner of Broadway and Pittsburgh Street. Second, take note to the raised planting bed of hedges that spell out the Hose Co. 4. Image courtesy of the Scottdale Fire Department.
Historical Society meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month and start at 6:30 p.m. If you have interest in attending, please email us.
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