Delaware Township Volunteer Fire Company

The Sub Station

Route 2001 (Milford Rd). Near the intersection of Route 739

The "Main House"

131 Wilson Hill Road

Original Fire House. Now the National Park Service Building

Route 209



History of the Delaware Township Volunteer Fire Company

As Written by M.G. Whittaker  1955


On August 18, 1955, Dingmans Ferry and all surrounding areas were struck a vicious blow when mother nature whipped up a storm to stop all storms. One so violent that this area had never experienced before. The surrounding areas were also effected and in a very serious nature. All bridges were washed out, all electric service and phone service was gone at the hour of eleven P.M. Dams in the areas were broken from the strain of too much rainfall in a short period of time. It was as if the almighty God was reminding all the populations that he was supreme, a reminder that nothing could stop the fury of water. This we learned at an expensive lesson. Man must direct his efforts to better control, and when mother nature takes over, he must concentrate all his efforts to the safety of this fellow brothers.


It was out of this suffering and disaster that the very first Volunteer Fire Company in Dingmans Ferry, Pike County, Pennsylvania was started. Several times in the past this had been attempted but somewhere along the line, interest was lost and the proposed Fire Company along with it. We were the last in the area who did not have a Company to come to the aid of her people in the event of Fire, Flood or Disaster. It seemed as if we needed to be faced with the facts. In the middle of this flood we had to call on the assistance of the Milford Fire Department to come to the rescue of one of our local families, a mother and her children were trapped in their home and unable to escape due to the Dingmans creek surging all around them. The flood waters had crept in from the darkness at such a pace that harm for the entire family was felt. Milford was under the same strain as our own community but she came rushing to our aid as she had always done for so many years in the past. So---here prophesized the Origin.


It was realized, after we looked about us the next day when the sun came shining through, that we were indeed very fortunate. That there was such an extent to damage, but, we thank God there was no loss of lives in our Township. This surely could be fate, as so many surrounding areas had the dreadful heartache of loosing lives of family and friends. Our deepest sorrow went out to these people.On Sept. 10, 1955, John Edraney, Art Ogden, and interested citizens from this area called all the people of the community to a meeting so that crews could be put into action to patrol bridges that were practically all washed out, and to maintain whatever duties that were essential at this time and discuss formation of a Fire Company. There were approximately forty at this meeting. The proposed discussion of Fire Company was entered into and from this, a committee of three were appointed to further the idea and call on such other help deemed necessary. This Committee consisted of Lucian Locke, Carl Bensley and Romain Whittaker. From this point on and henceforth, you may now resolve, your Fire Company was a reality.


The very first committee meeting was called at the residence of Romain Whittaker. Those present were: Lucien Locke, Luke and his wife operate a resort colony called "Barrel Ridge"; Arnold Prehn, Proprietor of the Dingmans Ferry Garage; Arthur Ogden, who manages the local attraction called "Dingmans Falls"; and Romain Whittaker, Owner and operator of a Lumber business in town. Mrs. Marjorie Whittaker was asked to serve as temporary Secretary for this Committee. Lucien Locke acted as spokesman for this group which held several more meetings at which every phase of Fire Company was discussed, including membership, Bylaws, Incorporation, Legal Assistance, and Equipment. From this point on, you may follow your Fire Company's history through their permanent record of minutes.Our town numbers approximately 300 in population. Families who live nestled in the peaceful mountains. We live to-gether, work to-gether and play to-gether. There were oldtimers who said it was not necessary and would not last, but with determination it grew and grew. Remember, we had our differences, but they were always worked out, and we learned from them. A record was deisred for many years from now, perhaps our younger generations will enjoy reading how this Company, "The Delaware Township Volunteer Fire Company" was formed.


The hard work, the sweat and toil and the hurdles that had to be overcome, but the ever constant love for our Community and the people who make it so. This is what was put in this Company.


Many years from now if we could gaze over the distant horizon, we will probably see you, our Dingmans Ferry, grown up. Perhaps we would see many more homes, and beautiful paved streets. To be born here or to live here is something we all appreciate. The Village grows and grows in the heart until it becomes very overwhelming. The Ladies of the town were invited to take part in this company at the second meeting the men held. The women were proud to be part of an Auxiliary which they formed, to serve along with the men in helping them to build a safer more desirable Community in which to live with their families.

The original fire house, which is presently owned by National Park Service, was the stone building on Rt. 209 south of Rt. 739. The building was built by the members of the Company in 1956/1957. Once completed, the fire house not only housed the equipment of the Company, but became the center of many Dingmans Village activities. Unfortunately, as a result of the Tocks Island Dam Project in the 70's, the residents of the Village were forced to move deeper into Dingmans Ferry. The Fire Company was no exception.

In the late 70's, the Company built a substation to house their ever growing equipment. After the NPS took over the fire house on Rt.209, this became the only building owned by the Company. Once again leaving the members of the Company without a "home". As the needs of the Township grew, the Company also used the Township Building to house some of its equipment, hold meetings, and have training.

Our Sub-Station is located on Old Milford Road (01), a quarter of a mile south of Rt 739. It houses one of our Engines and Rescue.

Our Main House is located on Wilson Hill Road, across the road from the ballfields and can be accessed from either Old Milford Road (01) or Rt. 209.

HISTORY

OF THE DELAWARE TOWNSHIP VOLUNTEER FIRE COMPANY