Brewster Fire Department
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Our 1941 Main Street Fire House
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By Life Member James Delawder
September 30, 2021

The Brewster Fire Department has two houses. The 1941 firehouse is located at 501 North Main Street in the Village of Brewster. The cornerstone of the Main Street Fire House was laid in 1941. (See photo # 2) It replaced the 1880 firehouse that was on Railroad Avenue opposite the Baptist church. (Photo #1) An even earlier firehouse was at the Town Hall which is currently the Southeast Museum.

The first floor of the Main Street firehouse consists of what presently houses the ambulance and fire police equipment. On the apparatus floor, before the additions there were::
1. A 1948 an American La France fire engine (photo #4)
2. A Ladder truck with a fifty foot metal Bangor ladder (Needed five people to raise the Bangor ladder)
3. In 1955, a Lime Green (Yellow?) Power Wagon (photo #5)

In the basement, in the vicinity of where the mechanic's room presently is, the Chief's Car (see photos #7&12) and a LaSalle Ambulance (see photo #6) were parked. The driveway exit for the ambulance and Chief's car was out of the side of the basement (in the direction of the park) crossing a stream over a little bridge.The exit would then loop around to North Main Street.There is a hump in the basemen floor because there was and may still be a stream running underneath the firehouse from the direction of the park. In 1969, a three bay addition was built by BFD members enclosing that path. Presently the tanker 11-4-1, an engine 11-2-2 and the Rescue truck 11-6-1 occupy those bays.

In 1964 the first addition was built. It presently is the bay for the Brush Truck. It was estimated that between two thousand and twenty-five hundred cement blocks were needed for that construction. There was an underground tank in one of the bays to use for practicing pumping and drafting water in the winter. There was a lid on the tank in the bay and an overflow outlet in the parking lot. Members helped build that addition as well as the 1969 addition. Reportedly, there was no taxpayer money used for the additions, just fire department money. Donations were accepted. Lloyd Lumber supplied material at cost. Wally Spencer of Transit Mix was made an honorary member because he donated a lot of concrete.Whether he knew how much concrete he donated is an unanswered question. It is alleged that there was some extra cement at the end of the project which resulted four feet of extra cement in a corner of that addition. There may also be some unusual rebar mixed with the cement. (See photos # 8-11)

The top floor has a peaked roof. After additions were made, the second floor has a a kitchen, bathrooms, a Chiefs' office, President's Office, and the Commissioners' Office. It is rumored that the staircase to the second floor has a steep slope because it was an after thought. A few of the many members who worked on the additions include John Coughlin, Charlie Erickson, Doug Fox, Lou Gasparini, George Godfrey, George Hill, Tom Hughes, the LaPere brothers, and John Tarr. The members worked hard and played hard.

Interviews with Life members, Tommy Hughes, George Hill, and Charlie Erickson provided background for this article.


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