Calls to Service

8 Special Services

Spring Mill Firehouse History

Take a walk down memory lane and explore the 100 year-old history of Spring Mill Fire Company.
The First Meeting

In September 1923 a dozen residents from the Spring Mill area and surrounding vicinities had a meeting at The Prizer Hotel on Hector Street to discuss the organization of a volunteer fire company. Frank Davidson was elected chairman and was to notify all male residents of Whitemarsh West of a meeting at the Spring Mill School House. Sixty-five men attended and officers were elected as followed: David Dowdle, President; Arthur Youngjohn, Vice President; Reuben Kilpatrick, Recording Secretary; John Gravel, Financial Secretary; Samuel McFarland, Treasurer. Trustees were Roscoe Prizer and Thomas W Morris.

The Charter is Signed

The Charter was filed on November 18th 1923. By the end of 1923, the total membership was at 105. 

The First Apparatus

The next very important step was to purchase a piece of apparatus and obtain a building to house this. On May 2, 1924, “Mr. Young, a salesman from the Hale Fire Pump Company, appeared at a meeting and stated that his company would furnish an apparatus as on display in the school yard at a special price of $2,500 if the contract was signed within 30 days. The regular price of this machine, a chemical apparatus mounted on a Reo Speed Wagon Chasis, with two 35 gallon chemical tanks, 12 foot ladder, 20 foot extension ladder and 700 foot hose body , etc. was $2,850.

The terms were one-half price on delivery and the balance within 30 days. If cash was paid on delivery a discount of 2% would be allowed. After discussion a motion was made and seconded that the apparatus as described be purchased” … “Motion was then made and seconded that a committee be appointed to canvas the vicinity and raise funds to purchase the apparatus. Motion carried and Phillip Kelly was appointed Chairman in charge of committee to cover Borough Line to Botto’s corner,(North lane & Hector Street) and Allen Frankenfield was appointed Chairman to cover lower end from Botto’s corner, including Cedar Grove and Miquon.”

Fun for the Community

On June 5, 1924, “arrangements were made to hold a street carnival on the grounds in front of the Lee plant on Saturday afternoon and evening, June 28th.” This was the first of the many carnivals to be held by the fire company. In later years, this carnival became the Fire Company’s biggest fund raiser; a 10 day fair, held for 28 consecutive summers, until 1956 when the District Attorney of Montgomery County cracked down on lotteries and other gambling devices.

First Fire Chief Elected, New Leaders

On September 5, 1924, a fire chief was elected for 1924-1925. “Samuel Glass: 13 votes, George T. MacFarland: 6 votes, Mat Pester: 2 votes. Samuel Glass elected. “On October 3, 1924, “the Fire Chief announced the following appointments: Frederick Oppelt, First Ass’t Chief; Harry W. Cressman, Second Ass’t. Chief; George T. MacFarland, Engineer; John Shulkaski, First Ass’t Engineer; John M. Graul, Second Ass’t. Engineer; Samuel Kilpatrick, Jr., Third Ass’t. Engineer; Norman Wright, Fourth Ass’t. Engineer.”

December 1924
First Siren Purchased and Grand Opening

On December 5, 1924, “After testing the Siren, motion was made and carried to purchase the Siren – the price to be paid therefor being $125.”

On December 6, 1924, a housing ceremony was held in the new quarters with the Washington Fire Company of Conshohocken as sponsors.


Ladies Auxiliary Formed

The Ladies Auxiliary was also organized in 1925 and the officers and members of the company had good reason to be thankful for such an organization. Its financial support throughout the years has been a great asset to the Spring Mill Fire Company.

Very First Station Banquet

On December 14, 1926, a committee was appointed to arrange for the first annual banquet. “It was voted to make the banquet a stag.” The first annual banquet was then held in February, 1927.

Historical Station Report

On January 10th, 1928, the Chief submitted the following report for the year 1927:

Number of fires 17
Times in service: 10
Number of field fires: 6
Number of house fires: 6
Number of store fires: 1
Number of hay barn fires: 2
Number of automobile fires: 2
Total number of chemical used: 123
Number of feet chemical hose laid: 600
Number of feet of water hose laid: 550
Number of miles traveled to and from fires: 37
Average attendance at fires: 9

Signed by SAMUEL GLASS, Chief

Apparatus Update

September 1935, a Hale 500 GPM pumper was purchased for $6,555. The original apparatus was subsequently disposed of for $175.00.

Vehicles Come and Go

In February 1947, the Fire Company entered into a contract to purchase a Maxim 700 GPM pumper with a 500 gallon tank. The cost of this unit was $8,085. (In 1969, the fire company converted this pumper into the Dive Rescue Unit equipped with a cascade unit, six complete wet scuba suits, the motorized boat, air-powered tools, a 1,000 foot five-eighths inch nylon rope on a powered reel and hand tools. The truck was sold in April 1981 to the Ulster-Sheshequin Fire Association for $400.00).

Maxim 700 Series

On May 13, 1958, the Fire Company voted to purchase a Maxim 700 GPM for a cost of $22,000. The apparatus was delivered in April, 1959. With repairs being too costly to this vehicle, the truck was sold in November, 1981 for $475.00.

Maxim 750

In 1964, a Maxim 750 GPM pumper with a 500 gallon tank, 1,250 feet of 2 1/2″ hose, 600 feet of 1 1/2″ hose, a smoke ejector and 3 air packs was purchased. The cost of this unit fully equipped was $29,175. The Fourth District housed the unit. In 1992, pumper was donated to The Mill Rift Fire Company, located in Northeast Pennsylvania, This unit became their first out unit and is still in service today. The truck was donated due to the need of the company for a truck but insufficient funds to purchase a new vehicle

Scuba Team Takes Shape

In July 1968, after much discussion, the Scuba Diving Unit was formed as a river rescue unit. Preparations began to give scuba diving classes to the members of the company. In October, the Whitemarsh Township Lions Club donated the first Rescue Boat to the Spring Mill Fire Co. for drowning and river searches.

The Ladies Get Charter

On February 6th 1970, The Ladies Auxiliary acquired their Charter.
1973 Women's Auxiliary pictured.

Fire Police Unit Formed

In March 1971, there was a discussion about forming a fire police unit to close roads at fire scenes, park cars at the fire house for functions and other special services as required. In April, the company approved to purchase equipment for eight members of the Fire Police Unit.

Hurricane Wreaks Havoc

In June 1972, Hurricane Agnes swept through the area dumping several inches of rain. The Fire Company rescued people out of local factories as the Schuylkill River overflowed its banks and flooded the area. The members pumped out basements for 64 hours. Whitemarsh Township gave a plaque to the members for a job well done.

Firehouse Upgrades

Extensive renovations were made to the firehouse in 1973 under a contract for additions and alterations. The changes to the first floor included one additional apparatus bay and an extension of the rear existing engine room. Also, a complete renovation of the first floor meeting rooms, clubroom, as well as the addition of new rest rooms and stair towers to the first floor. The changes to the second floor included a new wing on the west end of the auditorium, a relocated kitchen area, remodeling of the existing auditorium and new rest rooms. The exterior of the building included a new architectural metal Mansard roof, new windows and all new plastered sidewalls. New electrical wiring and lighting was added along with air conditioning added to the meeting rooms and auditorium. The heating system was also updated.

Lee Park Lease Agreement

In March 1990, the Fire Company entered into a lease agreement with Lee Park for use of Fire Company property. The purpose of the lease was to renovate the grounds into parking lots for Lee Park Office Complex. The Board of Directors, solicitor, and Brian and Michael O’ Neill approved the details of the lease. All maintenance of the grounds was to be handled by Lee Park. Included in this lease was the complete renovation of the Mansion House.

First Official Houseman

A Houseman/Paid Driver was hired in November 1995 for the duties of cleaning of the firehouse and maintenance of the apparatus. His duties also included driving the apparatus to the fire calls.

First Dalmation and Mack Ladder Truck Purchase

January 1996, this was the first Dalmatian at the fire company.  Ruby stays at the firehouse and responds to every call on the apparatus.  

Also in 1996, the fire company purchased a Mack Ladder Truck from the Hatboro Fire Co.  The truck was refurbished and placed into service in February 1997.  This was the first ladder truck owned by the Spring Mill Fire Co.

New Car for the Chief

The original chief's car was replaced with a Chevy Blazer purchased from Magarity Chevrolet. 

October 1998
Appreciation Night

October 1998 marked the Appreciation Night for the celebration of our 75th Anniversary.  A beef and beer was held in the Auditorium where a good time was had by all that attended the occasion.

November 1998
New Software/Technology

Firehouse Software has been installed for doing fire reports, training and special service reports.

Life Members Honored & Introduction of Digital Pagers

At the 75th Anniversary Banquet, all the Life Members of the company were honored with a gold watch for their years of service and dedication to the company. All other members were honored with years of service pins. Digital pagers were purchased for all fire dispatches.

Grant Awarded

A grant was received from Rep. Lita Cohen for $17,000 towards a Thermal Imaging Camera to assist firefighters to search for victims in smoke filled environments.  The Lee Park donated $5,000 to ensure the purchase of the camera.

Hurricane Floyd

Hurricane Floyd swept through the area leaving several inches of rain. The Fire Company was busy with water rescues all throughout the area and pumping out basements. The boat that The Lions Club donated to the fire company in 1968 was submerged in water at a water rescue in Conshohocken rescuing people from a train when the boat capsized during the rescue. The boat was found the next day in a creek that leads to the Schuylkill River. Severe damage kept the boat from any other use for the company. 


Renovations to the Mansion House are being done by Lee Park as per the lease agreement.

75’ Quint Purchase

A contract was signed with E-One to purchase a 75’ Quint for the cost of $537,817.


Fire Company gets first website “springmillfire.com”. Board of Directors reject building renovations due to being overpriced. Committee will report back to the board with options.


Company approves building improvements for a cost of $300,000 which included a 5 bay addition, new windows and stucco of the fire house.

Conshohocken Fire

An 8-alarm blaze destroyed 185 apartments during The Millenium Fire. Fire companies and fire departments from throughout a number of counties helped fight the Millennium Fire in Conshohocken. The fire spread fast and the heat was unbearable. During the fire and throughout the next day, Spring Mill Fire Company's Female Auxiliary members provided ice and refreshments to the firefighters. A number of residents were displaced that night and the community came together to help.

Spring Mill Fire Company sets up a care clinic at the fire station for those affected by Conshohocken's eight fire alarm that destroys 185 apartments.

Hurricane Ida

Hurricane Ida swept through the area dumping more than 9 inches of rain.  Members were in service making several water rescues of people in vehicles stuck in flooded roadways. The Fire Company was rescuing people from local homes due to the Schuylkill River overflowing its banks and flooding the area.  Members were in service for more than 54 hours serving other communities and pumping basements. 


The Company has a total of 95 active and life members and treasurers report shows that the fire company is financially secure for the future. Events are planned for the 100th Anniversary celebration.