The Village of Kinderhook's Volunteer Fire Department

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Fire Company Formation

In 1825 the citizens of Kinderhook, Millville, and vicinity were called to meet at Frink's Hotel for the purpose of choosing the "most eligible means or organizing against the calamities of Fire." Apparently a bucket-brigade was chosen, for the following year it was that alone which saved the house of Barent Hoes (now Dr. Garnsey's) from destruction. Not much more was available in '33 when Flagler's Dry Goods Store and a Millinery shop (standing on Mrs. Traphagen's present property) were burned. During that fire women assisted in removing goods from Grave's & Blanchards corner store. The excitement was intense and there was to be "no more delay in securing better protection." Nothing however of consequence was done. Four years passed and then came the burning of Birge & Smith's Harness shop, endangering Mordecai Myer's barn, and W. Bradley & Sons Paint and Oil shop, and "roasting the apples on John Bain's trees opposite." This was the last straw.


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The following year, when Kinderhook Village was incorporated, a fire company was formed and an appropriation voted for the purchase of a fire engine. In November '38, we have the report to the Trustees that a fire engine and hose had been purchased at a cost of $230. At the same meeting former action of the Trustees as regards a Fire company was rescinded, and Engine Co. No. 1 thus constituted: Homer Blanchard, P. P. Van Alstyne, Andrew Van Dyck, B. L. P. Lillibridge, George Doak, W. B. Shaw, G. W. Beale, William Kip, S. W. Van Valkenburgh, J. L. Whiting, W. G. Heermance, W. W. Curtis, E. A. Dunscombe, J. V. Salmon, and C. V. A. Van Dyck. It is a joy to think of these dignitaries, especially the last-named (the great missionary and Aarbic scholar) as running with old No. 1 to fires. Homer Blanchard was foreman and P. P. Van Alstyne second Foreman.

The burning of the Academy Boarding-house in '54 called attention to the fact that Fire Engine No. 1 was "unfit for service." In '55 a tax of $500 was voted for a new one, and in '56 it appeared and was placed in care of C. M. Van Valkenburgh, Foreman; Charles Palmer, Assistant; G. H. Hoxsie, Secretary; George Ray, Treasurer, and these other officials, each with special function - M. H. Purcell, Martin C. Dederick, John Bray, Ira Mickel, and W. H. Bull. The company, organized January 14, '56.

For More Information, Please Contact:
Palmer Engine & Hose
P.O. Box 191, Kinderhook, NY 12106
(518) 758-9220
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Last modified: 07/12/12