The History of Lincoln Fire Co.
The Lincoln Fire Company was formed in 1908 by a group of civic minded citizens who met at the Willard Park Hotel. The corporation papers were filed and recorded on April 23rd, 1908. In that same month, the governing body of the Borough of Totowa passed an ordinance that established Lincoln Fire Company as one of the two fire companies in the Borough. In July of that same year, a committee was appointed for the election of a chief and assistant chief. The first elected chief was George McCrea and the first Assistant Chief was Thomas Dunkerly.
In the early years of the company, the engine was attached to passing wagons to get it to a fire. The engine carried fire pails, ladders, lanterns, hose, and the firemen’s gear. Alarms were sounded by striking large steel gongs with hammers made available to citizens located in strategic areas. Whenever available, citizens who owned horses would bring them to the fire house and hitch them to the apparatus and bring them to the fire scene. For this favor, a citizen was paid the sum of $2.00.
Lincoln’s headquarters has been located at 93 Lincoln Avenue, in what is now known as the “Old Borough Hall” since it acquired space on the ground floor sometime around 1910. The front part of the interior housed the apparatus and the rear section of the building provided space for the company members to hold their meetings. Additional space was acquired when the Totowa Borough Police Department moved to the new municipal building in 1969. The meeting room has been completely remodeled and now serves as a place to hold our social functions as well as our meetings.
Through the years Lincoln Fire Company has had a number of different fire trucks. Present members recall a Reo, a 1937 Ford ‘85, a 1950 Mack, a 1967 Mack Themodyne, a 1986 Mack and a 2008 Pierce; all of these units were pumpers. Prior to the 1920’s, it appears that the company was equipped with a horse drawn or hand drawn chemical apparatus.
Active membership has averaged between twenty-five and thirty members in recent years. Membership also includes junior members, social members, honorary members and life members. The members and their families gather to celebrate special occasions such as the installation of officers and the traditional Christmas Party at which our members’ children and grandchildren are visited by Santa Claus.
The members of Lincoln Fire Company take great pride in providing volunteer fire service on a round-the-clock basis to the borough of Totowa residents. In the future, as well as in the past and present, Lincoln Fire Company will continue to be “First, Last, and Always.”