Annandale, New Jersey History

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Annandale Hose Co. no. 1


A.M. Simon of New York City published this postcard.

The Annandale Hose Company's first two fire trucks, 1925 & 1945 models, are parked in front of the old firehouse on West Street. The building is now a home.

From April 1953 Popular Science Magazine

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A brief history of the company - Resources:

Northern Hunterdon County was without a single fire department when flames engulfed Clinton's Main Street about 3a.m. on a November morning in 1891. While residents battled the blaze with buckets of water and rushed to douse burning embers falling on other parts of the town, the mayor telegraphed Flemington, Phillipsburg and Easton for help. Flemington responded with manpower but couldn't get its equipment to Clinton. Fire companies from Phillipsburg and Easton sped to the scene with firefighting apparatus, but a century ago rushing that distance took two hours. They arrived about 5a.m. and quickly extinguished the conflagration, but by then 23 buildings had been destroyed and the business district was devastated. Soon thereafter, Clinton citizens formed the town's first volunteer fire company.

Annandale residents also got together to protect their town from fire, but first had to obtain an agreement with the Clinton Water Company to run mains from Clinton to Annandale. The water company signed the agreement on June 7, 1897. On June 25, 1897 Dr. William Berkaw presented a petition signed by 20 citizens to the Township Committee asking for the creation of a fire district and a fire company. Annandale Fire District No.1 was established. It included "the entire village of Annandale and its outskirts".

The first meeting of the Annandale Hose Company No.1, and others for many years, were held in the Hummer Brothers carriage shop on West Street. In attendance were John B. Carhart, Manning F. Gano, Alvah Melick, Mansfield H. Hummer, Theodore J. Starner, Isaac Smith, J. Haynes Wyckoff, Walter S. Boeman, John W. Fulper, Thomas B. Seals, Elmer E. Apgar, William T. Astle, Stacy B. Emmons, Walter R. Hoffman, John Hendershot and Theodore J. Phillips.

The company's first major piece of equipment was a two-wheeled hose cart which was hauled to fires by hand. It now resides in the meeting room in the firehouse. The room was built around the antique cart with its big brass bell and as a result it will not fit through the doorway.

During our 50th anniversary one of the original members, J. Haynes Wyckoff, recalled the first fire. It broke out "just at church time" on July 3, 1898, eight months after the company was organised and began training. Wyckoff was up in a tree picking cherries on what is now known as the Austin farm when he heard the alarm, an iron locomotive wheel beaten with a sledge hammer. He sped to the scene. Others hauled the hose cart. The fire was in the attic of a Center Street home occupied by Abner Allen. Hose from the cart was connected to one of the hydrants installed by the Clinton Water Company and the fire was extinguished.

The Annandale Hose Company No.1 eventually moved to a structure on the site now occupied by the firehouse and old municipal building. William Savin donated money to tear down the old building and erect a new one. The Township Committee added an extension in 1940.

With the help of donations, the company purchased its first motorized fire truck in 1925. At a meeting in Case's garage on February 14, 1925, "Committee on Motor Equipment" members Harry M. Seals, C.A. Case, J. Haynes Wyckoff and Chief Alvah Lindebury voted to spend $440 for a Ford one-ton chassis. With body, "hand-operated siren", searchlight and other appurtenances added the total cost was $1,200.

In 1945, the Township Committee purchased a "modern" fire truck for the company in exchange for an agreement that they protect the entire township instead of the Annandale Fire District. The township's administrative code made Annandale Hose Company No.1's volunteers the Division of Fire under the Township Council, and a second station was subsequently built on Route 31 to reduce response time to the rapidly developing southern section of the township. The volunteers conducted fundraisers to buy equipment for the new truck. A play presented in the Quakertown School in November 1947 netted $1,191.

The formation of a Ladies Auxiliary was proposed in 1947. The first meeting was attended by Mrs. Haynes Wyckoff, Mrs. Ormond Eick, Mrs. LeRoy Eick, Mrs. Charles Deckhut, Mrs. Frank Molnar, Mrs. Wilmer Burns, Mrs. George Trimmer, Mrs. John Hall and Mrs. W.M. Whiteley.