SANATOGA PA – Year 100 looks to be as excitement-filled for the Sanatoga Fire Company as Year 1, a century ago.
The village’s volunteer firefighters, in one of two companies serving Lower Pottsgrove (PA) Township, will celebrate in a variety of ways during 2009 to mark the 100th anniversary of their organization’s founding. Festivities unofficially kicked off yesterday (Sunday, Jan. 8, 2009) at mid-morning, in unseasonably warm temperatures and beneath a bright sun, as firemen posted a banner on the west exterior wall of the firehouse at 2222 E. High St.
Under the watchful eyes of township Fire Marshal Lew Babel, a crew climbed a ladder atop one of the company’s newest pieces of apparatus, “Quint 58,” to announce the centennial year by securing the banner to brickwork. The job was finished in about 90 minutes.
The ease and speed with which they completed the task provided a sharp contrast to the conditions under which the company got its start.
In January 1908, according to history published on the company’s website, village residents could only watch the former Long View Mansion burn as they waited for firefighting equipment to arrive from Pottstown, four miles away. They had no apparatus of their own at the time, no organization, and no training. In hours immediately following that blaze, and over later months villagers met, discussed and donated $260 in cash to form a fire company Sanatoga could call its own.
A five-wheel water and chemical extinguisher, state-of-the-art for its time and purchased from an Indianapolis IN manufacturer, arrived in Sanatoga in May 1908. The 30-member company was officially in business, but its charter wasn’t granted until 1909. Company members now consider it their founding year.