Motorized Fire Apparatus Made Albion’s Department Best in the Nation

Vol. 3, Issue 19

On November 19, 1913, the Ever-Ready Manufacturing Company of Buffalo delivered a six cylinder, 90 horsepower Thomas flyer hose, chemical, and ladder truck for the Active Hose No. 2 Fire Company in Albion. At a cost of approximately $6,000, the fully-loaded vehicle was said to max out at 75 miles per hour. A year and a half prior to this delivery, Dye Hose No. 5 Fire Company purchased a similar machine, making Albion’s fire service one of the best in the United States.

This photograph shows Chief Engineer C. Royce Sawyer, right, seated in his recently purchased 1913 Buick Model 30 Roadster, which was designated as the chief’s car for the Dye Hose Company. The vehicle was equipped with a carbonated gas fire extinguisher, visible on the car’s driver-side running board.

Around the time this photograph was taken, two of Albion’s volunteer companies took out incorporation papers following village approval to do so.… More

The Great Fire of 1882

Vol. 3, Issue 17

On Friday, January 13, 1882 at 9 o’clock in the evening, occupants of properties located along West Bank Street in Albion noticed the odor of smoke coming from an unknown source. When neighbors discovered smoke billowing out of F. C. Parchert’s millinery and fancy goods business, they sounded the fire alarm. Quickly arriving on scene, fireman forced open the door to find a pile of paper boxes ablaze. The stifling smoke made it impossible to remain within the store for even a short period of time and despite efforts to carry in extinguishers, the fire had already spread up the partition walls.

Hart Hose No. 3’s engine arrived on scene with slight delay, as the horses were not stabled nearby. Upon the company’s arrival, the fire had worked its way up the walls and burst through the roof. No. 3’s engine worked tirelessly for seven hours, providing steady streams into the early hours of the morning; another engine on scene broke down shortly after its arrival.… More

C. Royce Sawyer

Volume 2, Issue 32

This image taken by Francis Burnette of Albion shows a young Charles Royce Sawyer, probably around 1890. The son of George Sawyer and Elizabeth Royce, Charles was one of two children born to the prominent Albion couple; unfortunately, his younger sister Lucilla died just over a month after birth. Sawyer received his early education at Albion and eventually entered employment with the Citizen’s National Bank as an assistant cashier.

Charles was prominent in local political, social, and business affairs and was said to have a “genial hearty manner that made him friends with everyone.” After joining the fire department in Albion he progressed through the organization, first as treasurer for the Dye Hose Company and then serving as Chief Engineer. It was the goal of his tenure as Chief to mechanize the entire department and it was his work that secured the first mechanized fire truck in New York outside of New York City.… More

126 Years Ago – Dye Hose Prepares for 4th of July Parade

Revisiting Old Orleans, Vol. 1, Issue 2

Formed amidst the vast wilderness that was Upstate New York, Albion was built within dense old-growth forests that covered the region. The untouched and uncultivated land proved to be both dangerous and threatening for early settlers. Wooded regions were filled with deadly animals that have gone unseen in this area for decades, but the most deadly threat to early settlement was fire.

Dating back to 1829, Albion’s earliest protection against the threat of fire was prevention. Fire Wardens sought to eliminate dangerous scenarios that often led to devastating disasters, yet for those occasions where the inevitable fire broke out, the bucket brigade became the last defense against these deadly occurrences. Between 1831 and 1880, Albion witnessed the development and transformation of the area’s fire fighting force from the establishment of a rudimentary group of young men to the creation of a well-developed and complex system of multiple fire companies.… More