A Brief History of Churchtown Fire Co. No. 1
In the year 1934 a group of men finalized their plans of forming a fire company in Churchtown. Their meetings were held in Raught’s General Store located in the center of the village.
Their first piece of fire equipment was a two wheeled soda and acid cart with a twenty gallon water tank which was pulled by hand.
In August of 1934, a 1922 Dodge truck was purchased and the soda and acid tank mounted on it. Later in the same year, Joseph Delehanty, a charter member, donated the use of a two-car garage for a firehouse and meeting hall.
In 1936, fire broke out in a dairy barn located at the rear of the firehouse. When the fire was finally out, the barn as well as the firehouse were completely in ruins. Shortly after the fire the members were given a building which they dismantled and rebuilt, this time on land owned by the fire company.
In 1939 the Ladies Auxiliary was organized, and helped in many ways to support the fire company, as it still does today.
In 1944 a 1927 Brockway was purchased from Greenport Fire Co. No. 1 and was used until 1952, at which time a new Internation-W.S. Darley, 500 g.p.m. pumper was purchased. The Brockway was then sold to the Onandaga Indian Reservation near Syracuse.
The annual convention and parade of the Columbia County Volunteer Firemen’s Association was held in Churchtown in 1954 when Richard Steinhoff, Sr. was the president of the association.
The fire company purchased its first tanker truck, a 1935 Ford with 800 gallon capacity, in 1958.
On January 11, 1959 at about 9:00 PM, fire was discovered in the upstairs rooms of the firehouse and with the help of the Claverack Fire Co., the truck rooms and the kitchen were saved. During the summer of that year, construction began on the present building.
During 1961 the Ford Tanker was sold and replaced with a 1952 G.M.C., 2,750 gal. tank truck. A new four-wheel drive, Saulsbury Internation truck arrived during 1975; this was a 750 g.p.m. front mounted pump. In 1979 a used 1970 Ford tank was purchased with a capacity of 2,000 gallons.
During the year 1981, two and three quarter acres of land were purchased adjacent to the firehouse. A fine ball field and picnic grounds are located there.
In 1983, with Andrew Miller as president of the Columbia County Volunteer Firemen’s Association, Churchtown Fire Co. No. 1 hosted the association’s 58th annual convention and parade.
In 1992 the new truck room was dedicated, bringing the firehouse to the current configuration.