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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Carlisle in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Union Fire Company

Walking Tour Stop 22

 
 
The Union Fire Company Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., July 5, 2009
1. The Union Fire Company Marker
Inscription.
On April 6, 1789, a group of local real estate owners - worried about the possibility of fire in the borough - organized Carlisle's first volunteer fire company. They named and modeled it after the Union Fire Company of Philadelphia, the first fire company in Pennsylvania. From 1789 until 1819, members held meetings in the Courthouse. A two-story town hall, build in 1819, then housed fire apparatus on the first level and a meeting room upstairs. The town hall, the Courthouse, and the equipment burned in the great Courthouse Fire on March 24, 1845.

In 1859, the company found a new home directly across the street from this marker on West Louther Street. It remained there until the construction of the original portion of this building in 1888. In 1977, the company completed a six-bay addition to the west side of the building.

The company purchased its first steam-powered apparatus on May 16, 1870 from Silsby & Company for $4,000, buying a second Silsby in 1896. For over 40 years, volunteers drew these heavy pumpers by hand. Not until August 1, 1910, did horses begin pulling the apparatus to fires.

On August 25, 1913, the first motor-driven equipment - a 1913 American LaFrance combination chemical and pumper - was pput into service, probably the first motorized fire equipment in the county. A newer, largere
The Union Fire Company c.1888 Station and Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., July 5, 2009
2. The Union Fire Company c.1888 Station and Marker
American LaFrance pumper, on display in the company museum, replaced it in December 1929. In December 1930 the company began providing the first rural service to Cumberland County with a Ford pumper and service engine, soon replaced by a 1935 Hahn.

Proud of its heritage from the 1820's when it began using a hand pumper to replace bucket brigades, to its early use of self-contained breathing apparatus in the 1950's, the Union Fire Company has been an innovator in fire prevention and control. It carries on its legacy as one of the oldest continually operating fire companies in the United States.
 
Erected by Historic Carlisle, Inc.
 
Location. 40° 12.191′ N, 77° 11.399′ W. Marker is in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, in Cumberland County. Marker is at the intersection of Louther Street and Morris Avenue, on the right when traveling west on Louther Street. Touch for map. Fire station is between Hanover (US Route 11) and Pitt Streets. Marker is at or near this postal address: 35 W. Louther Street, Carlisle PA 17013, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Return of the Captives (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Carlisle Fort (about 600 feet away); Prelude to Gettysburg
The Union Fire Company Station and Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., July 5, 2009
3. The Union Fire Company Station and Marker
(about 600 feet away); 1753 Carlisle Indian Conference (about 600 feet away); Shelling of Carlisle (about 600 feet away); First Presbyterian Church (about 600 feet away); Carlisle's 250th Anniversary Mural (about 600 feet away); Cumberland County Historical Society & Hamilton Library Association (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Carlisle.
 
Also see . . .
1. History of the Carlisle Fire Department. (Submitted on May 18, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Historic Carlisle, Inc. (Submitted on May 18, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. Charity & Public WorkFraternal or Sororal OrganizationsHeroesIndustry & CommerceNotable BuildingsNotable EventsRoads & Vehicles
 
Silsby Steamer Pic on Union Fire Co Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., July 5, 2009
4. Silsby Steamer Pic on Union Fire Co Marker
[Caption reads] Taken about 1880, proud Union Fire Company volunteers stand next to their Silsby Steam Pumper, which they would pull by hand to every emergency.
1913 Union Fire Co Engine Pic on Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., July 5, 2009
5. 1913 Union Fire Co Engine Pic on Marker
[Caption reads] This 1913 American-LaFrance engine could pump water, and also carried a full complement of chemical fire extinguishers to battle every kind of blaze.
Union Fire Co 1935 Hahn Pumper Pic on Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., July 5, 2009
6. Union Fire Co 1935 Hahn Pumper Pic on Marker
[Caption reads] This heavy duty 1935 Hahn pumper gave the company's volunteers the traction they needed to get to rural fires along the often muddy back roads of Cumberland County.
Union Fire Company Pumper Truck image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., July 5, 2009
7. Union Fire Company Pumper Truck
Union Fire Company Banner image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., July 5, 2009
8. Union Fire Company Banner
Union Fire Company Banner image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., July 5, 2009
9. Union Fire Company Banner
Union Fire Company Memorabilia image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., July 5, 2009
10. Union Fire Company Memorabilia
Union Fire Company Hose Carrier image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., July 5, 2009
11. Union Fire Company Hose Carrier
Union Fire Company Station image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., July 5, 2009
12. Union Fire Company Station
Before door change.
Union Fire Co Station Door Windows image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., July 5, 2009
13. Union Fire Co Station Door Windows
Seen in photo to left.
Union Fire Company World War Honor Roll image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., July 5, 2009
14. Union Fire Company World War Honor Roll
Union Fire Co Station Porthole Window image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., July 5, 2009
15. Union Fire Co Station Porthole Window
Below bell steeple.
Union Fire Co Meeting Room & Museum image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., July 5, 2009
16. Union Fire Co Meeting Room & Museum
Porthole window at upper left.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 18, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 623 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16. submitted on May 18, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
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