The Washington Engine Company
Waynesboro’s first fire company, the Washington Engine Company, was organized 1830 in with approximately twenty-five members and operated with a hand pumped engine, hose reel and other firefighting equipment. All the equipment was housed in the old Town Hall and Engine House, located on the southeast corner of the Waynesboro Town Square.o
The Mechanics Steam Fire Engine and Hose Company # 1
On September 2, 1879, the Washington Engine Company was reorganized into the Mechanics Fire Company, and use the same quarters as the old Washington Engine Company, in the old town hall and engine house. The Mechanics were located on Mechanics Street side of the building which is now South Church Street.
Only three members of the original Washington Engine Company, Daniel Johnson, Harry Funk, and John B. Wallace, transferred to the reorganized company. Soon after the fire company reorganization, Frank Landis, of the Geiser Manufacturing Company, presented the Mechanics with their first steam engine, the boiler was made of copper.
They added the Steam Fire Engine and Hose Company Number 1 in their name because wanted to be known for having the latest technology. With the addition of the horse drawn steam engine, the Mechanics Fire Company became known as the Mechanics Steam Fire Engine and Hose Company Number One. Following this addition, a horse drawn Silsby Steamer was also added to the ranks. This significantly helped to improve the time in getting ready for action. In March 1894, the Mechanics took just 24 ˝ seconds to hitch the horses , start the fire and signal all hands ready once an alarm was sounded.
A more modern steam engine was purchased in 1904 from the Nott Fire Engine Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This engine was rated capacity with a flow capable of 800/850 gpm. Later, a Combination Chemical Wagon was purchased and placed into service.
The Mechanics Steam Engine Fire Company and Hose Company Number 1 operated a street sprinkler - water dray tank wagon, during the summer months to water the streets of Waynesboro and reduce dust. For this service, there were paid $45.00 monthly by the Waynesboro Borough Council; the funds were used for the first paid drivers. The drivers would keep a fire going in the coal stove for the steamer. A model was made original dray water tank wagon and sold as a fund raiser to restore the 1950 Mack. After the sale of the Mack the remaining of funds were used to move the memorial bell to Virginia Avenue fire station.
Until 1915, The Mechanics Steam Fire Engine & Hose Company was operated entirely as a volunteer effort. All equipment was paid for by funds derived from fairs, public donations, membership dues, and the monthly payment for watering the streets. In 1915, the town of Waynesboro took over all financial responsibility for the fire department, establishing a paid driver system, and placed both fire companies under the supervision of a Fire Marshal. One year later, Council purchased a Seagrave Combination Hose and Chemical unit for the Mechanics. The Nott Steamer was then motorizing using a 1916 Brockway four wheel tractor, making the fire department a completely motorized unit.
1917 ushered in the last year in which horses were used for specific firefighting operations in the Waynesboro Fire Department. The following year, all of the engines with the exception of the Nott Steamer and the Seagrave Combination Chemical Truck were disposed of. In 1926, a community pumper was added to replace aging equipment. All of the steam engine were sold as scrap. Mack pumpers then followed in 1941, 1948, 1950 and a 1955 Mack ladder truck. Until the late 1990's Waynesboro had Mack fire apparatus.
The year 1954 marked a move for the Mechanics to their present location on Virginia Avenue. This station was presented as an outright gift from Mr. Howard M. Weaver in memory of his dear wife, Mrs. Sudie Clayton Weaver. In appreciation and as an everlasting memorial to her, It was named The Sudie Clayton Memorial Fire Hall.
In 1968 bost a membership of 350 members. The company meetings were on the first Wednesday of the month and dues were always 10 cents a month.
"Our Duty to Protect"
Always There Hook and Ladder
Company Number 0ne
The Always There Hook & Ladder Co. No. 1, Waynesboro, Pa., was organized in October of the year 1880, with about thirty members, and the following officers, Jacob F. Reininger, President; Wm. I. Bikle, Vice President; Cyrus Foltz, Secretary; B.F. Foreman, Treasurer. Jacob O. Thompson was the first Captain of the Company and also Drill Captain. The first meeting of the company was held in Center Square at the old town pump, when the name of the company was suggested by Cyrus Foltz, and adopted. Of the above officers only one member held an office in the company until death, which was Jacob F. Reininger, who died May 1924, at the age of 96 years, and was chairman of the trustees of the company.
The first firefighting equipment of this company was a hand drawn truck which was equipped with several ladders, buckets, and lanterns, which was stored in a barn which stood in alley No. 1 north of Main Street. Company meetings were held in Squire Seibitt’s office then on South Church Street.
On October 11th, 1882, this company was incorporated. Application for the Charter was made by W.J.C. Jacobs, Jesse R. Oller, A.F. Gringman, J.F. Reininger and J.O. Thompson. W.T. Omwake, attorney at law, was the solicitor; Judge D. Watson Rowe was Presiding Judge of the Franklin County Court. The Charter was received by the following Trustees: Fred Frick, Frank Grove, Howard Fisher and Clark Grumbine.
The company formed a Band in the same year known as the “Hook & Ladder Band.” It was organized with about twenty-two members. W.E. Dock was the first director. Dr. J.C. Criswell was the first bass player. This band was in existence until the year 1889when it consolidated with the “Old Waynesboro Cornet Band” and formed what is now known as the Wayne Band.
In the year 1882 the company took up quarters in the East Side of the Academy of Music which was built in the year 1881. They used this building as their home until the year 1899 when they moved to their present home in the South Side of the Firemen’s Hall which was built by the town, and given over to the city Firemen for their use, by a resolution which was received by the company August 2nd, 1900 which was as follows:
Resolved: That the Burgess be instructed to tender the Mechanics Steam Fire Engine and Hose Co. and the Always There Hook & Ladder Co. the use of the new Firemen’s Hall on South Potomac St., so long as they shall respectively maintain an effective organization for the purpose for which they were created and that to this end of the burgess is instructed to turn over to them the keys to said building.
Signed – Sam C. Plank, Secretary to Council
The company’s equipment at this time consisted of a small horse drawn Hook & Ladder Truck which was replaced in the year 1906 with a Seagraves 65 ft. Aerial horse drawn truck, which was kept in service until December 23rd, 1916, when the company was motorized with an American LaFrance City Service Truck which was equipped with eight ladders varying in length from ten to fifty feet, and carries one thousand feet of hose, besides other modern firefighting equipment. The company was the first to be totally motorized in the town, which was made possible by Chief Daniel J. Stine.
The summer of 1967 the fire equipment was moved to a building on Gay Street while the station at 29 South Potomac was partially torn down to remodel the station. The Borough of Waynesboro bore the total cost of the new station. On Sunday October 5th, 1967 there was a dedication of the cornerstone. On Saturday August 24th, 1968 the rebuilt fire station was dedicated.
December 1992 a volunteer firefighter’s bunk room was built for male and female members. This replace the male only that was located in the basement that was used from 1967. January 16th, 1993 the rooms were dedicated, the re-model was made possible through a very generous gift of Robert N. “Bob” Boerner.
" We Strive to Save"
The consolidation of the two companies into
THE WAYNESBORO VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT INC.
The "Corporation" History Here!
The first board of Director for the Waynesboro Volunteer Fire Department Inc.
L-R Dave Martin, Ronald Flegel, Robert Biesecker, Goldie Kauffman,
Jeff Yeager,Terry Riber and Janvier Gilliand
PAST FIRE CHIEFS
Edward Greewalth 1879 - 1880
Dan Johnston 1881-1900
Harry C. Funk
J.C.F. Glaut 1913
Howard Cramer 1921-1928
Howard Poper 1930 - 1932
Dan J. Stine 1930 - 1932
Charles Shoemaker 1932 - 1944
L. William Mussey 1944 - 1948
Zal Robinson 1948 - 1949
C. O. "Roy" Robinson 1949
Orlow E. Helm 1949 - 1966
Kenneth Lemmon 1967 - 1976
Merle K. Biser 1976 - 1983
Terry Reiber 1984 - 1987
Janvier Gilliand 1988 - 1989
Donald M. Ringer 1990 - 1997
Dale Fishack 1998 - 2003
Ronald Flegel 2004 - 2008
David Martin 2009 - 2013
Shawn Adolini 2014 - Present
The consolidation of the two companies into
THE WAYNESBORO VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT INC.
The web crew has maintained this site since March 20th, 2011