When a fire breaks out in Schwenksville, the volunteers of the Schwenksville Fire Company are ready to respond and fight the blaze. When they are not keeping things cool in town, however, the members of Station 73 spend their time with numerous fund raising activities. It takes a lot of money to operate a volunteer fire company and Schwenksville is no exception. These volunteers are trying to pay bills but they are also trying to keep the history of the Company and Community alive. While times have changed, equipment, equipment modernized and tactics improved, the spirit of the previous generations still burns.
Early settler Albert Bromer was said to be Schwenksville’s first fireman. In 1874 Bromer had a well dug on the hillside sloping toward the main street of the village, providing the community with a rare water system. 560 feet of pipe was laid to the Industrial Hall, which is today Borough Hall. A fire hydrant was then erected in front of the hall. Bromer then acquired 200 feet of hose, which was sufficient to reach the primary buildings of the early village. When the water was turned on the natural force of the down hill fall was sufficient to send a stream over the building without the use of an engine.
In 1874, civic minded citizens held meetings which resulted in the organizing of the Schwenksville Fire Company, which raised funds much the same as they do now, through community carnivals. A shallow-well hand drawn pumper was purchased. The first piece of fire equipment proved unsatisfactory. In 1888 the pumper was replaced with a more modern pumper. In addition a ladder wagon was purchased. Both were hand drawn but had shafts to allow for use of horses.
While few specific details of this period are recorded, it is fortunate that both the pumper and ladder wagon used by volunteers of a bygone era are still owned and maintained by the fire company today. The Schwenksville Fire Company is a volunteer organization on call all hours of the day and night. In order to guarantee that the Schwenksville area always has good fire protection, the citizens of today and tomorrow must keep the spirit alive. The maintenance of the antique equipment is the only way to access that history. Recent construction of a glass enclosure was erected at the fire house. Here, the apparatus will be stored in a climate controlled environment and will be on display at all times.
The Schwenksville Fire Company thanks the community for their continuing support over the years. The Fire Company’s volunteers have always answered a call for help. We now ask that you answer a call for help and assist in protecting the future and preserve the past.
If you have any photographs or information of past company’s activities, please email us at History@schwenksvillefire.com.