It is known that two previous attempts had been make to establish a fire company in Bloomingburg, without success. However, on February 15, 1935 the present company was organized and has continually improved and expanded over the years.
Like most things in life, humble beginnings through hard work and perseverance can produce, in the end, some rewarding results. A case in point is the fact that the first fire house was a former ice house on North Street and was rented for eight ($8.00) dollars per month. While renting this small and quite inadequate truck house, members were constantly busy raising money toward the goal of purchasing property. They did this by having spaghetti suppers, dances, card parties, cake sales, raffles and minstrel shows. After they found suitable property that was within their means, they discovered that in order to purchase the property the company must incorporate. A Certificate of Incorporation was filed in Sullivan County on July 31, 1939. In August, 1939 the reality of ownership was accomplished with a five-hundred ($500.00) dollar down payment and a one-thousand ($1,000.00) dollar mortgage. This property is the site of the former fire house, now the Jeff Bank. There were four buildings on the property, two of which were stores. One store, a barn and an ice house were torn down. The remaining store, under the supervision and work of Howard Taylor, was converted into a fire house that was used until 1964.
As soon as the company was well established they had thoughts of expanding from the Village to a Fire District. At the time, this was prohibited by New York State Village Law. It was discovered in the late 1950’s that Chester, New York had formed a fire district comprising the village and surrounding territory by a bill passed in the New York State Legislature. This was all that was needed to revive the efforts of doing the same in Bloomingburg. On December 7, 1960 the Bloomingburg Joint Fire District was established. This included the village, an expanded area in the town of Mamakating and a portion of the Town of Wallkill, Orange County, New York. The Fire Company turned over their property and equipment to the District and in return, the District would now provide necessary housing, equipment and maintenance under a tax structure.
The Fire Company provides to the district, on a volunteer basis, it’s time, effort and training. Due to state-of-the-art technology in today’s world, it requires on-going training. In addition to fire fighting duties, the company provides to the district other services such as: cellar pump outs, extraction of victims at traffic accidents, resuscitator calls and searching for lost persons. It also provides, on a reciprocal basis, the same services to neighboring communities through the County Mutual Aid System. The officers and members will put on educational programs concerning home safety for any group that is interest. Tours of the fire house and demonstrations of the equipment can be scheduled.
Long lost are the days of horses and dirt roads in Bloomingburg. A simpler time was when the fall brought the harvest and farms covered the countryside. Times when you could hear the cry of the O &W whistle as the train stopped at the Highview Station and people would filter down into our town. Times when an ice house kept a 1937 Chevy and several people dedicated their time to protect our village.
Now, into the future, we have a major highway and houses are sitting in fields where crops once grew and dairy cows roamed. What was once a small railroad town has disappeared and developed the present day Bloomingburg Fire District.
In 2009, a year before our 75th Anniversary, we moved into our new 15,300 square foot state of the art firehouse. This is not only a building for today but also for the future. The size of the building to some is large but at one time a two bay ice house with one truck was way over sized for our town.
On what will be our 150th Anniversary, one can only think of what they will write and wonder how we only made do with 5 bays, 2 engines, 2 trucks and 1 tanker.
Thank you to all the members over 75 years of dedication and service. Thank you to the community for support in those 75 years and we look forward to 75 more.
President - Steve Schwartz
Vice President - Kevin McGowan
Secretary - Diedra Angley
Treasurer - Larry Arnold
Garry Call Sr.
COMPANY MAILING ADDRESS
Bloomingburg Fire Company #1
PO Box 1039
Bloomingburg, NY 12721