HISTORY OF MILTON ENGINE COMPANY #1
Milton, Town of Marlborough, Ulster County, New York, 12547
The Milton Fire Engine Association Number One was formed on May 27, 1904. The charter members started out with a Gleason and Bailey hand pumper. This is still a cherished possession today. The first “firehouse” was no more than a carriage house on Dock Road. The fire district they protected was not much more than the village of Milton; from the river to Young’s homestead and Maple Avenue and South Road to the first bridge on North Road. The company quickly outgrew its carriage house and in 1911 moved to the basement floor of the bank building on Main Street. This move was planned in advance as the owner of the new building was E.F.Patten, the fire company’s 2nd Vice President. A year later in 1912, the company installed a fire alarm where the Milton Elementary now stands. This alarm today is in proud possession of the membership. On January 8, 1913, the company was incorporated as the Milton Engine Company No.1.[/karma_builder_dropcap]
In 1920, the first truck was bought; a Model T Ford with a chemical pump and hose. Soon after this purchase, the members realized that the upkeep on the truck and firehouse required reimbursement from the community. Therefore in 1921, the Milton Fire District was formed with five fire commissioners and a tax levy of $1,000.00. The company spent their budget on coats, boots, and hose. They also paid the Foreman (chief) $50.00 per year for his work and the Secretary $30.00 per year. During 1925, the company made another move to the building south of the Post Office.
The Model T Ford proved too slow for the fireman, so a new truck was purchased in 1930. This truck was manufactured by the Sanford Fire Apparatus Company and was the company’s pride and joy. During the 1930’s fir drills were held regularly to better train the men. The company also enjoyed having a very good baseball team which kept them active within the community.. But the fun of the 1930’s came to a sudden end. During a Sunday outing, the Sanford fire truck struck another car on 9W. The two men riding on the truck were killed and all others were injured. The effects of this tragic event were felt for many years within the fire department and all families effected.
During the 1940’s, World War II played a large role in the actions of the engine company. Donations and such were being sent overseas and to draftee stations in the Hudson Valley. In April of 1944, the fire department dedicated a plaque at the firehouse to the men from Milton serving their community during the War. This was celebrated by a parade through the village and a festive party afterwards.
The 1950’s saw big changes for the fire service and the Milton Engine Company. In 1951, the fire department moved to its current location on Main Street. This firehouse was the first floor of today’s firehouse minus the north side addition. At the same time, the district purchased a new Sanford fire truck to add modern equipment to the new firehouse. In 1956, the company voted to adopt Ulster County’s new mutual aid plan through radio communications. It also, this same year, was happy to see a new municipal water system that would add to their firefighting arsenal. In 1957, the department received its second apparatus; an American LaFrance on a Dodge chassis. Through the late 50’s, members trained more on emergency first aid, and the 1959, the company had its own rescue squad for medical emergencies within Milton.
in 1967, the second floor was added to the firehouse, a Ford pumper was also purchased this year. With this new space, the department held its first pancake breakfast in 1969; a tradition that continues today.
the 1970’s were filled with young members willing to play important roles in the direction of the company. In 1970, the property across Main Street from the firehouse was purchased by the members for $1,470.00; a wise investment.
In 1981, with the re-writing of the company’s by-laws, new positions of Captain and Lieutenant were added to the ranks of line officers. 1983 saw the arrival of a new Pierce tanker and the junior member program. In 1984, a Dodge brush truck was added to the fleet, which made a total of four fire apparatus protecting Milton. During 1988, the department replaced its’ 1967 Ford with a new Hahn pumper to upgrade its 1st due-in engine.
1990 brought with it a new addition to the firehouse. New offices and a ready room upstairs and a new engine bay downstairs meant more space for all the equipment needed to perform essential services to the community. Through the rest of the ’90’s, quality equipment and training to the Milton Engine Company, including a Saulsbury Rescue Pumper purchased in 1997.
In 2003, a new Ford F-450 brush truck was added to replace the ’83 Dodge. A century of service to the community was marked with a parade and fireworks on July 3rd, 2004. The newest apparatus in the Milton fleet is a 2005 American LaFrance tanker, replacing the 1983 Pierce.
Today shows even more promise for the Milton Engine Company. Training is more essential than ever, and out 45 active members show enthusiasm and vigilance in all they do and learn. Professionalism is a virtue that this department strives to maintain to the highest degree. Love for the community and a devotion to the fire service will continue to keep the members of the Milton Engine Company No.1 ‘protecting with pride’ for years to come.
The above information was compiled and written for the 100th Anniversary celebration by Gael Appler Jr., and modified for MiltoneEngine.com. All information was gathered from the minute books of the Milton Engine Co. and Milton Fire Department