Friday, April 3, 2015
Over 260 Years and Still Going Strong
It takes some special folks to keep a volunteer organization going strong. A group of firefighters in New Jersey are well aware of this and continue doing their duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
1752 - Britannia Fire Company is organized in Bridgeton, New Jersey. It is the oldest volunteer fire company in continuous service in the United States. Don't believe it? They have the minutes of that first meeting dated July 11, 1752.
1787 - The company changed their name to Mount Holly Fire Company.
1789 - The company built a shed to house their leather fire buckets and ladders, thus becoming the first known "fire house" or fire station in America.
1790s - The town changed their name from Bridgeton to Mount Holly.
1805 - The fire department changed their name from Mount Holly to Relief Fire Engine Company No. 1.
1892 - A new fire house is built for the company. The old shed, the first fire house in the country, is moved to a location beside the new building. This shed is now a museum housing artifacts of the company.
I don't know if I'll ever make it to New Jersey, but if so, I'd love to visit the station and museum. My husband and my son are both retired firefighters and it's always interesting to check out the history of the profession.