Firehouse Fifty Years Old

Footnotes to Long Island History

Firehouse 50 Years Old


Thomas R. Bayles


By Thomas R. Bayles


            August 27, 1904, was a red letter day for the Patchogue Fire department, and the members turned out in full force to assist in the ceremonies of laying the cornerstone of the new $15,000 fire house headquarters, still in use on Lake street.  The village was giver a semi-holiday in honor of the occasion.

            The members of the four companies assembled at their respective headquarters at 1 p.m. And shortly after-wards formed in line for the parade, the line of march being down South Ocean avenue to Baker street, then to Rider avenue and East Main Street, to North Ocean avenue and then to the site of the new building.

            The formation of the line was as follows:

            Chief C. C. Jones; Assistant Chiefs C. J. Odell and F. M. Ruland; members of the Patchogue Fire council; Patchogue Village trustees; Wreith's brass band of Lindenhurst; Patchogue Exempt Firemen's association, led by president H. Clay Losee; Patchogue Engine-hose company, George Nicoll, foreman; Union Hook & Ladder company, Arthur P. Green, foreman; Van Guard Hose company, William Maginnes, foreman; Euclid Hose company, Edgar M. Mapes, foreman; Patchogue Juvenile Hook & Ladder company with Otto Van Tuyl, foreman.

            After the parade the firemen lined up in front of the new headquarters and the Rev. J. W. Maynard made the invocation, after which Chief Jones made some remarks.  Acting Village President Edwin Johanknecht then made a short address and was followed by lawyer Robert S. Pelletreau, who made the official address of welcome.

            The honor of placing the cornerstone in position was given to Edwin Bailey, one of the original organizers of the local Fire department, and for 15 years its chief.  Mr. Bailey spoke feelingly of the honor conferred upon him and reviewed the history of the department.

            Addresses were then made by Supreme Court Justice Wilmot M. Smith, who was one of the organizers of the Union Hook & Ladder company, 18 years before; State Senator Edwin Bailey, Jr., one of the original members of the engine company; County Judge Walter H. Jaycox; Assemblyman W. A. Reeve and W. K. Post, president of the Suffolk County Volunteer Fireman's association.  All the speeches congratulated the local firemen on the start of construction of the finest department house in Suffolk County.

            From the cornerstone laying, the firemen, preceded by the band, marched to the ball ground, where they were the guests of the Patchogue Baseball association, and witnessed a lively game between the local team and one from Sayville.  At night a supper at Bailey's hall with an informal program of music and speeches concluded the day.

            Construction of the new building progressed rapidly and was completed in time for the companies to hold their December meetings there.  The Patchogue department was one of the best managed on the Island and there were at that time about 150 members in the four companies.

            A number of interesting relics were placed in the cornerstone, among which was a copy of the Brooklyn Eagle for July 8, which had a picture of the new house.  

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