Philmont Volunteer Fire Company Auxiliary History
The Philmont Volunteer Fire Company Auxiliary was organized on February 28, 1955, at the Firemen’s Hall (formerly the Crusader Club). The charter members were: Clara N. Harder (Life Member), Lillian Babjeck, Jennie Barkdoll, Effie Braunfels, Audrey Card, Blossom Card, Eleanor Card, Mildred Coons, Dorothy Dallas, Janice Dallas, Martha Dallas, Violet Decker, Theresa Fischer, Dorothy Glover, Nellie Laraway, Beatrice Lezette, Theresa Macfarlane, Mary Northrup, Mary Lou Ostrander, Althea Race, Hazel Race, Virginia Race, Olga Schermerhorn, Arlene Snyder, Martha Snyder, Beulah Wallace, Jean Wasner, Ruth Weisner, Judy Wildermuth, Clara Yerick, Janet Yerick, and Lillian Yerrick. The Charter closed on May 9th, 1955.
The Auxiliary followed the firemen when they moved their headquarters from the Crusader Club to the Village Hall. Due to frequent meetings held in the Village Hall on the Auxiliary’s meeting night, late in the year 1991 the Auxiliary began holding their meetings at the Philmont fire house.
In June, 1896, the Philmont Volunteer Hose Company No. 1 was formed. A petition was put before the Village Board to buy a hose cart and hook and ladders. In October the Board authorized the purchase of two hose carts for $714 which were kept in the Empire Stables.
The following January, the first officers of the Company were named. James H. Wilkinson was first Chief and R.A. Woodruff was first Assistant. Officers included: President George W. Vedder, Vice President Charles Pitcher, Secretary Mercer D. Lang, Treasurer John L. Crandell, Trustees Edward C. Hayes and William D. Fabyan, Foreman James H. Doran, and Asst. Foreman John H. Damm. Charter members were Cecil Brusie, A. Pitcher, John H. Stemple, Warren F. Dunbar, John VanDeusen, J.F. Gangloff, John F. Carney, Frank B. Lindsay, Oswald Vosburgh, John H. Brennan, Henry Hayes, William Scism, A.E. Dingman, Alex McEvoy, J.C. Hoose, and Mott M. Best.
On March 7, 1897, the first alarm was answered at the home of Mrs. Mary Aken on Maple Avenue.
In 1898 the state of New York granted the Company its first charter. Also that year the Company turned out to parade with the Grand Army of the Republic, the first of many parades with the veterans of the Civil War.
The 1903 a new fire bell was ordered from Memsly Bell Company of Troy, New York, and was delivered the following year at a cost of $192.05.
A field day was held in Philmont in April, 1907, under the Hudson Valley Volunteer Firemen’s Association. The field days or tournaments are worthy of note–the games were strenuous ones. For example, the (running team) in 1909 won the Hose Race and Cup for another year, and lost the Hub and Hub race by six inches. The Team made one record of a hundred yard break and couple hose at hydrant in 14-1/4 seconds.
The 1915 the Village purchased its first motorized fire apparatus. In 1923 the Village purchased a Brockway Torpedo Truck, a LaFrance equipped Chemical Truck and Hose Carrier. The first Columbia County Volunteer Firemen’s Association convention was held in Philmont, in June of 1926.
The Company’s fire police were organized in December, 1930, and the first aid team, a direct ancestor of the present Philmont Rescue Squad, was started in 1938. In 1941 the Seagraves Fire Truck was ordered and placed in service. The Seagraves was retired in April of 1976 but is still used for parades.
In the 1960s, the new Village Hall and truck house were built. The Company obtained a Maxim Pumper and a new emergency truck. New uniforms were purchased in 1964 and improved ten years later. In 1968 the Company began coverage of a fire protection district, and also that year the Philmont Company joined with Mellenville to place a member on the board of directors of the Columbia County Volunteer Firemen’s Association. In 1969 the fire alarm system was converted from battery to an electric system.
The Fire Company adopted a new set of bylaws. In the New bylaws it allows you to hold two positions 1 executive and 1 line officer position. these bylaws were voted on in February and put in effect in March 2013. These bylaws gave birth to a new position Assistant Secretary.
1st ever Assistant Secretary- Tonya Oakley
Dick Howard 1 st member to hold two elected position as Trustee and 1st Assistant Chief.