History


 

S.W. Johnson Eng. Co #2 of the village of Wappingers Falls Fire Dept was organized April 22, 1872 with sixteen charter members. The company was named after Samuel W. Johnson, an executive of Garner Print Works.

The engine, known as the “Resurrection” which was purchased by the Wappingers Engine Co. was a hand engine. In the year 1850, it was turned over to Johnson Engine to use until the new hand engine, the “Delaware” which was purchased through a subscription taken up by Chief Engineer Frank Allen, for a larger hand engine, and succeeded, everyone contributing two dollars toward the collection. In the summer of 1872, Johnson remained only a short time in the little brick building on Market St in back of where the old W.T. Garner firehouse now stands. They moved to the old jail building on Mill St. in the upstairs part until the year 1885, then moved to the building on the corner of East Main St. and for a meeting room. The hand engine was kept in a barn in Mesier Park. In 1885, the “Delaware” hand engine was superseded by a much larger and more effective hand engine purchased from the Young America Hose Co. of Poughkeepsie, for the sum of $400.

This remained in use until March 1902, when a new steamer was purchased for the sum of $4,000 from the American Lafrance Co. .

The old hand engine was sold to the Veterans Firemen of Marblehead, Mass for $150, which was repainted and refinished for parade use and won a few silver cups for its appearance.

In 1900, Johnson Company moved from the Mesier Homestead to Temperance Hall at the corner West Main St. and West St. . The Building became known as one of the best appearing in the village of Wappingers Falls.

In 1918 Johnson Engine received a new Luverne pumper on a Chevrolet Chassis.

On the morning of March 15, 1920 Temperance Hall , the company headquarters, housing the fire apparatus and several uniforms and valuable silver cups that could not be replaced caught fire at 3 a.m. caused by defective wiring. The fire was discovered by the motorman who was operating a plow to remove snow from the trolley tracks who turned in the alarm. There was no chance to remove the American LaFrance Steamer or any contents from the building. The fire apparatus had already dropped into the basement.

In June 1920 Johnson was relocated in the Egan building on Givans Ave. known as the old overall shop and opera house.

In 1928 a new 500 gallon Mack pumper arrived to replace the old Luverne hose wagon.

In the year 1930 a new brick building was constructed by contractor James McCafferty and Co. on School St., DuBois Carpenter of Poughkeepsie was the architect. The building cost $15,000.

May, 1971 the company received a new Mack pumper, Diesel engine (one of the first in the county), 1000 gallon pump, and a 500 gallon tank. The apparatus was painted in Packard Ivory a break from the traditional red. Now having two Mack pumpers an addition was added to the building in 1972 to house the new apparatus. In July of this year Johnson Eng. Hosted the D.C.V.F.A. Annual Parade in conjunction with the 100th anniversary. Also in this year the company began having its annual bazaar and fireworks display (the largest in the area yet today) at Mt. Alvernia Field.

In 1978 the company received a new GMC Utility truck, used at all alarms for lighting, breathing air supply, and to carry misc. equipment.

In 1982 the property was acquired next to the firehouse for an eventual addition which was completed on the east side of the building in 1984.

In 1995 a new 3D Spartan Pumper was placed in service with a 1750 gpm Pump and 1000 gallon water tank. The next piece of apparatus to be placed in service was a used 1987 Salisbury Walk-In Rescue truck from the New Hamburg Fire District. The rescue truck was painted from non-firematic yellow to traditional red. The rescue also pulls a Mercury 15hp boat for all water emergencies.

Today Johnson Engine remains a one engine and one rescue house. The 1952 Mack was taken out of service in 1995 and was purchased by the company from the village of Wappingers Falls, which remains in show condition.

History Photo Album

1928_mack

1928_mack

Temp_Hall_firehouse

Temp_Hall_firehouse