On May 18, 2002, West
Athens-Lime Street Fire Company will be hosting a parade and celebrating their
50th Anniversary. The following appears in their Commemorative Booklet.
Transcribed and contributed
by Sharon Palmateer
History of the West Athens - Lime Street Fire
Company #1, Inc at the Celebration of their 50th Anniversary
In 1951, a group of men led by Victor D. Schrader, Jerry J. Bush, Alfred A.
Jeune, Dean R. Kusisto, Charles Haeussler, Jr. and Anthony Borgen, Jr., just
to name a few, desired to create a fire company west of the railroad tracks
off of Schoharie Turnpike and Leeds-Athens Road respectively, to the top of
High Hill in Athens. They met several times at the Loonenburgh Grange
Hall, the White Swan Inn and Haeussler's Gas Station to formulate their plans.
The West Athens-Lime Street Fire Company was organized on March 13, 1952.
The first Constitution and By-laws were adopted on March 27, 1952. The
Board of Fire Commissioners of the West Athens-Lime Street Fire District in
the Town of Athens was created by a resolution of the Town Board of Athens
adopted on February 1, 1954. Nestled within the borders of four towns,
the First District has mutual aid plans with six other fire companies.
Property was acquired from J. T. Nichols and Firehouse No. 1 was built on Lime
Street. A 1954 Chevrolet 500 gallon pumper was purchased and placed into
service. It was noted that Irene Bloomer had permission to pull this
truck from the garage in order to hold Ladies Meetings and functions, as she
was used to driving farm machinery and had the experience. Two additions
were built onto House #1 in 1956 and 1971. For years, the Fire Company
and the Ladies Auxiliary held its' Annual Bazaar on the east side of the
intersection of 9W and Schoharie Turnpike. Dances, open to the public,
were also held annually at the White Swan Inn and later at the Green Lake
Homestead. These events were held to raise funds for Fire Company
expenses. Sager's Coal and Lumber Company aided the Fire Company on many
occasions with the donation of building supplies for the many projects they
were doing. Land was donated to the Fire Company by Fred and Walter
Schmidt and the siren was installed there. The land was later returned
to the Schmidts and the siren was moved to the Athens Town Highway Department
In 1961, property was donated at the intersection of 9W and Leeds-Athens Road
by Henry and Lena Rapp. Firehouse No. 2 was built and a 1962 GMC 1000
gallon pumper tanker with front mount pump was purchased and placed into
service. This property included a pond and serviced the south end of the
district more efficiently. The original Fire Company uniforms were
obtained from Hunter Fire Co. #1. Later, W. C. Brady Hook and Ladder Co.
#1 donated uniforms to the Fire Company. In 1975, the Fire Company
purchased their own new uniforms and a six piece drum line was formed to be
used for parades.
In 1977, the West Athens-Lime Street Fire Company was a forerunner of changing
times and admitted the first woman member. Since then, a total of six
women have become firefighters.
In 1978, a 1953 GMC Army truck was obtained from the Athens Highway
Department. A 2100 gallon used tank was installed and this tanker was
placed into service. In 1979, a 1968 Jeep was obtained from Greene
County Civil Defense and was placed into service. This vehicle brought
the number of firefighting apparatus for the Fire District to a total of four.
1981-1982 saw the restoration of both fire houses through the cooperation of
the Hudson Correctional Facility. The Correctional Facility also painted
the 2100 gallon tanker and the Jeep in 1982.
In 1984, the Board of Fire Commissioners purchased a 1964 four-wheel drive
pumper tanker with a 1000 gallon tank from the Good Will Fire Company of
Newburgh and retired the 1954 Chevy pumper.
During its' short existence, the Fire Company has fought many major fires,
such as the Sager Coal and Lumber Company and the devastation of Bambi Manor.
The Sager Coal and Lumber Company fire resulted in the closing of the New York
State Thruway because of the burning shingles and the Bambi Manor fire could
be seen by many as they traveled the Thruway.
In 1988, the 1954 Chevy was returned to service and the Fire Company removed
the Jeep and the 2100 gallon tanker from service. In 1989, the Fire
Company purchased new uniforms, which are currently in use today.
On August 15, 1989, the company suffered the loss of House #2 to a fire.
The fast actions of Robert Quick, Richard Kerr, Edward Swart, Jr. and John
Rexford saved engine 27-2 from the fire when they were able to pull it from
the burning building. In 1990, the Fire Company saw the rebuilding of
the original two bay garage into a meeting room with the addition of a three
On March 18, 1990, the Fire Company purchased ETA 27-3, a 1990 Emergency One
pumper tanker with a 1250 gallon per minute pump and 1250 tank on an
International chasis supplied by Nichols Oxygen. The next purchase of
ETA 27-4, a 1996 Luverne pumper tanker supplied by Garrison Fire and Rescue Corp.
featuring a 1250 gallon per minute pump and 1250 tank on an International
chasis was purchased on October 20, 1996. The 1964 four-wheel drive
began its' retirement in 2001 and on August 29, 2001, M27-5 was placed into
service. Supplied by Garrison Fire and Rescue Corp., M27-5 is a
2001 Ford 450 Quick Attack vehicle used for brush fires and auto accidents.
In April of 1992, the Fire Company once again was a forerunner in the County
when its membership elected the County's first female Fire Chief into
Several West Athens-Lime Street Fire Company members have been elected to
offices in the Greene County Volunteer Firemen's Association, the Greene
County Fire Chief's Association, the Greene County Fire Police Association,
the Hudson Valley Volunteer Firemen's Association and the Firemen's
Association of the State of New York. It has been our privilege to have
our members serve these organizations and to host those groups for quarterly
meetings over the years.
In 2001, each West Athens-Lime Street firefighter was equipped with a full set
of turnouts and an accountability system was developed. Also, the
installation of a monument in memory of West Athens-Lime Street deceased
firefighters was dedicated to the memory of David Townley in June
Through the years, the community has supported the Fire Company by
participating in its dances, bazaars, clam steams, pancake dinners, spaghetti
dinners, 20-week clubs, tag days and raffles and the Fire Company is very
In 2001-2002, the membership for the company is as follows: 30 social members,
which include 9 life members and 1 honorary life member and 41 active members,
which include 3 members on military status, 7 life members and 1 honorary life
member for a total of 71 Fire Company members.
The sobering reality of the events of September 11, 2001 has affected all of
us and helped us to appreciate the individuals that make up the Fire Company
and value the differences that contribute to its continued successful
operation. As we move forward, we will remember the past and look to the
future with enthusiasm.
Charter Members of the West Athens - Lime Street
Fire Company #1, Inc.
1. Oscar Banziger
2. Anthony Borgen
3. William Brown
4. Jerry Bush - honoree at the 50th
5. Alfred Case
6. Vincent DeBock
7. George Deyoe
8. Robert Ernst
9. Kenneth Fredenburg
10. John Ginther, Jr.
11. George Hadden
12. Charles Haeussler, Jr.
13. Charles Haeussler, Sr.
14. John Heiss, Jr.
15. Perry Hotchkiss
16. Cyril Jagos
17. Alfred Jeune
18. Ebenezer Jeune
19. Norman Jeune
20. Richard Kummer
21. Dean Kusisto
22. Howard Kusisto
23. Winfield Linsey
24. Joseph LoFrisco
25. Isidore Lohner
26. Herbert Matson - honoree at the 50th Anniversary
27. Liewellyn Meissner
28. Lyle Mowers
29. Willaim Murray
30. John Nichols
31. Henry Rapp
32. Patrick Romagnano
33. Donald Sager
34. Charles Saxe
35. Fred Schmidt - honoree at the 50th Anniversary
36. Water Schmidt
37. Victor Schrader
38. Robert Scott
39. Emil Simek
40. Ernest Sterritt
41. Edward Swart, Sr.
42. Earl Teetsel
43. Alonzo Tiffany
44. Henry VanDenBurgh
45. Edward Warren
46. George Wells
47. Henry Whirtley
48. Ellsworth Williams
Deceased Members of the West Athens - Lime Street Fire Company #1, Inc.
1. Robert Bishop
2. Richard Bloomer
3. Anthony Borgen
4. Percy Brown
5. William Brown
6. John Bulich
7. Frank Carney
8. Alfred Case
9. Earl Case
10. Walter Carroll
11. Vincent Cippitelli
12. Vincent DeBock
13. Robert Dempsey
14. George Deyoe
15. Richard Ecker
16. William Finch
17. Charles Haeussler, Jr.
18. Charles Haeussler, Sr.
19. Charles Haeussler III
20. Perry Hotchkiss
21. Alfred Jeune
22. Ebenezer Jeune
23. Dean Kusisto
24. Howard Kusisto
25. Joseph LoFrisco
26. John McGuire
27. Jack Micelli
28. Lyle Mowers
29. William Murray, Sr.
30. Henry Rapp
31. A. J. Roller
32. Patrick Romagnano
33. Donald Sager
34. Walter Schmidt
35. Victor Schrader
36. Robert Scott
37. Herbert Scott
38. Emil Simey
39. Edward Swart, Sr.
40. Earl Teetsel
41. Alonzo Tiffany
42. David Townley
43. Roy Waldron
44. Henry Whirtley
45. Ellsworth Williams
2002 Officers of the West Athens - Lime Street Fire Company #1, Inc.
President - Samuel Hunt
Vice President - Timothy Farrell
Treasurer - Victoria (Schrader) Dichian
Recording Secretary - Margaret Snyder
Financial Secretary - John P. Farrell, Jr.
Chaplain - Victoria (Schrader) Dichian
Steward - House #1 - Edward Swart, III
Steward - House #2 - Michael Vail
Director - 3 year - Paul Snyder
- 2 year -
- 1 year -
Edward Swart, III
Delegate - G.C.V.F.A - Marilyn Schrader
Delegate - H.V.V.F.A - Marilyn Schrader
Delegate - F.A.S.N.Y - Marilyn Schrader
Representatives to Fire Advisory Board - Marilyn Schrader, John J. Farrell
& Edward Swart, III