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's now known as 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, cider mill, distillery, and public motel. With more families moving to Blandon and settling there, the ability to fight fire's was becoming a growing concern.
During the fall of 1909, the villagers 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. 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 and 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. The fire company has gone through several fire stations and fire apparatus just to keep up with the community needs. Today, the company’s primary response area is 14.8 square miles and has about 10,000 residents in Maidencreek Township. The company has about 30 active volunteers. The Blandon Fire Company strives to provide quality fire suppression, rescue, and emergency medical services to Maidencreek Township and surrounding areas.
To learn more about the history of the Blandon Fire Company, please contact the fire company or stop by!