THE HISTORY OF THE BLANDON FIRE COMPANY
In the late 1700’s, Robert Bland, a blacksmith by trade, acquired a large tract of land and founded Bland Town. He and his family settled there and started his business. It is now Blandon – the largest town in Maidencreek Township.
In 1859, the East Penn Railroad passed through and began the growth of the town. By the 1900's more businesses started to emerge including a roller mill, grist mill, a cider mill, distillery, and public motel. With more families making their homes in town, the ability to fight fires as a community was a growing concern.
During the fall of 1909, the people of the village of Blandon discussed the necessity of fire protection for the small community. On January 8, 1910, when property holders and public-spirited citizens met at a public meeting in the P.O.S. of a Hall, the Blandon Fire Company No.1, came into existence. The following paragraph is the outcome of that meeting as it appears in our first meeting book.
President : D.S. Thomas
Vice President : S.E. Pflum
Secretary : O.B. Roberts
Treasurer : Isaac Weitzel
Chief : E.C. Trafford
Asst. Chiefs : Horace Redcay, Jerry Manmiller, Fred Sell
Trustees : Eli Y. Delp, Wilson Himmelrich
Wilson Sell received from A.K Lorah $5.00. Adjourn to meet January 15, at 7:30 p.m.
At the January 15th meeting, discussions focused on the type of equipment most suitable for the use of the company. It was decided to buy a hand drawn chemical wagon at the cost of $251.00. This chemical apparatus generated enough pressure to cover a two story building. Several months later the officers saw a need for ladders. A hand drawn ladder wagon was then bought for $90.00.
Because the community was growing and the equipment was being housed in different places, a decision was made to build a Fire Company hall. Mr. Samuel Seifert donated a piece of land to erect a station house in the center of town.
Ellis Trafford, Blandon’s first fire chief, a blacksmith at the roller mill, was concerned with alerting the volunteer firemen quickly in the event of a fire. Since they did not have any mechanical alarms, Ellis made a large hoop and fastened the hoop between two poles at the top. Ellis then took a hammer and attached it to a chain mounted on one of the poles. When the chain was pulled, the chain and the hammer would tilt and strike the hoop. This crudely-fashioned gong became Blandon’s first fire alarm.
The Blandon Fire Company has gone through many changes since then. We have gone through several fire stations and fire apparatus just trying to keep up with the needs our community. Today, the company’s primary response area is 14.8 square miles and has about 8,000 residents in Maidencreek Township. The company has about 50 active volunteers. We strive to provide quality fire suppression, rescue, and EMS services for the township and surrounding areas.
If you would like to know more or are in the area feel free to stop by or contact us.