“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Medina in Orleans County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Medina Fire Department

Area 10

— Charge the hose! —

Medina Fire Department Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Anton Schwarzmueller, October 9, 2014
1. Medina Fire Department Marker
Inscription.  The means by which citizens fought fires in the early days of the village were primitive at best. Bucket brigades were the main means of fighting fires. Early village law required every homeowner to have two buckets located close to an outside door, clearly inscribed with the owners [sic] name. Medina's first water works was installed for fire protection during the 1860's along Shelby (Main) Street. Pipes were laid along the east side of the street, from the railroad to Pearl Street, with the raceway providing water. This early hydrant system was later upgraded with larger pipe, more hydrants and greater coverage. Water for this system came from Oak Orchard Creek with a water wheel for pressure located at the Bignall Foundry. Crude though it was, the system provided protection until the installation of a village water system in 1892.

Below - The first motorized truck arrived in 1915 - a Waterous, purchased from the Waterous Engine Works of St. Paul, Minn. Showing off the new truck are (left to right) Chief Mahar, driver fireman Gallagher, fireman O'Brien and Slattery, and an unidentified man.
Below - circa 1903,
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fire in the former 1877 Davey Block was described as "the worst fire in years."
Bottom - circa 1933, Chief Schooley and his men pose for a photo outside their impressive firehouse.
Above, circa 1890 - Driver Fred Beard, Sr. tries out a new team of gray horses owned by William Smith as fireman Dunk O'Brien looks on.

In 1829, citizens began organizing the first fire-fighting efforts in Medina. Motivated by the outbreak of significant fires in those early years, a group of interested citizens rallied around the purchase of a hand cranked "fire engine" for the considerable sum of $270. Upon incorporation of the village, the machine (called Mercury) was purchased from the citizens, and on August 16, 1832 the first fire company was organized in the new Village of Medina. Throughout the rest of the century, many volunteer companies organized to assist the effort- The Mercury Engine Company, Cataract Hose Company, Alert Hose Company and others- all part of a greater overall undertaking to provide fire protection in the village.

In 1896, a village-wide fire alarm system was installed at a cost of $1002 via the Gamewell Fire Alarm & Telegraph Company. Prior to this an alarm was raised by ringing the bell at the First Baptist Church. With the dawn of the twentieth century, came a magnificant new stone City Hall with the first floor allocated to the fire department.
Medina Fire Department Marker - "City Hall" image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Anton Schwarzmueller, October 9, 2014
2. Medina Fire Department Marker - "City Hall"
It is the right marker.
The first motorized truck arrived in 1915- a Waterous and a second in 1919- an American-LaFrance. Today, the Medina Fire Department sill proudly resides on the first floor of City Hall. It is a combination career and volunteer fire department, providing fire protection and advanced life support/ emergency medical services to the village and surrounding communities. The department has a career staff of 13, supported by a "callman" staff of 20 volunteer firefighters.

Interpretive prints and mounting provided courtesy of The Print Shop • Medina, NY 585-590-9093 • Designed by Chris Busch, ORG
Erected by Medina Fire Department Local 2161.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Charity & Public Work. A significant historical year for this entry is 1829.
Location. 43° 13.136′ N, 78° 23.224′ W. Marker is in Medina, New York, in Orleans County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street (New York State Route 31) and Park Avenue, on the left when traveling north on Main Street. NY 31 and NY 63 share Main Street here. Marker is just south of the intersection. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 600 Main Street, Medina NY 14103, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Welcome to Historic Medina (here, next to this marker); NY Central Depot (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct
Medina Fire Department image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Anton Schwarzmueller, October 9, 2014
3. Medina Fire Department
First floor of City Hall, the Fire Department garages are on the north side of the building, on Park Avenue.
line); The Modern Age: Electric Trolley (about 400 feet away); Bent's Opera House - 1864 (about 600 feet away); Medina Sandstone (about 700 feet away); Frederick Douglass (about 800 feet away); Earliest Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Last Blacksmith Shop in Orleans County (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Medina.
Also see . . .  Medina Fire Department. (Submitted on October 17, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
Village of Medina Fire Department Memorial image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Anton Schwarzmueller, October 9, 2014
4. Village of Medina Fire Department Memorial
Next to the marker.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on October 17, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. This page has been viewed 634 times since then and 93 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on October 17, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.

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Oct. 1, 2023