City of Beacon Fire Department
HISTORY - LEWIS TOMPKINS HOSE CO   
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THE COMPANIES
Beacon Engine Co - Station 1
Lewis Tompkins Hose - Station 2
W.H. Mase Hook & Ladder - Headquarters

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DEPARTMENT
Overview


COMPANIES
Beacon Engine
| Lewis Tompkins Hose | Mase Hook and Ladder

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History

     In the winter of 1886 in the village of Fishkill Landing, Beacon's second fire company, the Lewis Tompkins Hose Company was organized. While the company was in its infancy, the members of the Ben Pulling Engine 2 in the late 1800svillage board acquired a parcel of land at the corner of Main Street and Cross Street. Here the original fire station was erected. At the time of its construction it was said to be one of the finest structures of its type in this section of the country. As times changed, the need for a larger and more modern building was apparent. In 1982 the current station on South Avenue was erected.

     The first piece of rolling stock to be used by the company was a 1886 hand drawn hose cart which soon outlived its usefulness. This piece of apparatus was replaced by a 1904 horse drawn wagon. Many of our older citizens undoubtedly recall seeing this wagon being drawn by the faithful Ben. Ben was replaced in 1918 when the company became the proud possessor of a shinny red Ahrens-Fox, with its silver air chamber. In 1941 the Fox was replaced by a Mack. In 1964, a beautiful and efficient American LaFrance was put into service and it carried a 500 gallon tank with a 1,000 gallon per minute pumping capacity. This American LaFrance was then replaced with a new 1980 LaFrance. Finally a 1994 Sutphen Pumper was purchased, which is the primary in service apparatusGroup of LTH members from the early 1800s for this station. Also as the fire service had become more specialized the company purchased a rescue truck in 1987. In late 2006, it was replaced with a new state-of-the-art rescue which is still in service today.

     The history of all the companies comprising the City of Beacon Fire Department is filled with accounts of men, strong in their convictions, who at the sound of the alarm would drop all they were doing and make their way to the scene of a fire. One of the finest examples of a firefighter who gave his life occurred in January, 1955. A fire swept the three floors of a Main Street tavern and apartment. As firefighter J. Robert Cramer many times before responded to the alarm. True to the firefighters code, he forgot his own safety to rescue a child reported to be in the apartment. In doing so, one of Beacon's best liked lost his life in the line of duty.

Pictures
(Click On Photos To See Larger View)

Ben pulling horse-drawn engine from the late 1800s
Engine 2 (33-12) - 1890 Horse-Drawn "Ben" Chemical and Hose Wagon
Ben in a parade with the 1890 horse-drawn cart
Engine 2 (33-12) - 1890 Horse-Drawn "Ben" Chemical and Hose Wagon
Tompkins Hose Company from the 1800s
Former 1888 Station House
Interior of former Station 2 from the 1800s
Interior of Bay at the Former Station House
Ben working the Horse-Drawn Engine
Engine 2 (33-12) - 1890 Horse-Drawn "Ben" Chemical and Hose Wagon
Group of Station 2 members in front of the old station house
1900 Tompkins Hose Firefighter's Ball Team. Elmer Steel, Front Left, became a professional ball player.
Ben in front of the old 1800s station house
Engine 2 (33-12) - 1890 Horse-Drawn "Ben" Chemical and Hose Wagon