Mount Bethel Volunteer Fire Company Organizes

After an outbreak of fires in 1927 such as the burning down of three homes, a garage and a dance hall on the main street, many residents and property owners of Mount Bethel realized they lacked the proper fire fighting equipment, as well as the manpower needed to fight a fire successfully.

In the spring of 1927 a meeting was called for the purpose of organizing a fire company. As a result of this meeting, which was held at the Mount Bethel Hotel, the Mount Bethel Volunteer Fire Company was formed. Officers elected were Harold Coss, President; Fred Hunt, Vice President; Robert Farleigh, Secretary and John Felker, Treasurer. Harold Coss was selected as fire chief with George Felker as First Assistant and William Eyer as Second Assistant. Those named as firemen were Fred Sandt, Melvin Honey, Walker Eyer, Edgar Eyer and Kenneth Hilliard.

Meetings were held once a month in the Mount Bethel Hotel and the charter for the organization was recorded in 1928.

The first alarm was nothing more than a steel saw, hung on a post with wire and hit with a hammer. In 1928 they purchased a 1917 Motel T Ford Fire Truck from Delaware Water Gap. This second hand chemical fire truck had two 50-gllon tanks, 100 feet of hard rubber hose and solid rubber tires. For water pressure, acid and soda was used.

The second truck purchased around 1932 was a Reo. A new body, tank, ladder and other equipment was built onto it at Willow Gove. In 1937 they purchased a 500-gallon Chevrolet Pumper Fire Truck. This truck is still owned by the company.

The first Mount Bethel Firehouse was bought about 1930 from Joe Hagerman. Prior to that the trucks were housed in Charles Eyer's garage for $1 a month rent. They were housed in Harold Coss's garage until this building was purchased. They building they purchased from Joe Hagerman had been used as a crayon factory, silk mill and a grocery story prior to this, and had to be remodeled to accommodate fire equipment. Posts in the main part of the building were removed, and they sawed old logs from a railroad tower, loaded them on wagons, and hauled them from the foot of Charles Eyer's hill to use as beams in the fire hall.