Transcribed by Sharon Palmateer from the Greene County Volunteer Firemen’s Association 1889-1989 One-Hundred Years of Fire Service History
The Freehold Fire Company was founded in October of
1945. The area had originally been
protected by the East Durham Fire Company.
Due to the extensive territorial coverage of the East Durham unit,
numerous concerned Freehold residents were prompted to form a local volunteer
organization. The Freehold Company
was formed by sixty-two charter members. Leadership
was necessary, and the first election resulted in Cliff Scofield and Edgar
Palmer as Freehold’s first Chief and President respectively.
As all organizations experience, Freehold’s new fire company had its share of problems. The old Freehold schoolhouse, owned by the Freehold Village Improvement Society, was its headquarters. They had plenty of members who worked diligently raising funds throughout the winter. In 1946, Freehold’s first pumper was obtained at a cost of $1,800. Their pride and joy was a 1942 Chevy pumper purchased from the Army Depot in Schenectady.
On October 1, 1948 Freehold signed it s first contract with the Town of Greeneville to provide the area with fire protection. They were compensated $850 for this service. In December of the same year the company incorporated, and was accepted as a member of the Firemen’s Associate of the State of New York, followed by membership in the Greene County Firemen’s Association in September of 1949.
With the onset of the 1950s came an addition on the north side of the old schoolhouse to accommodate more than one truck. 1951 brought a changing of the guard with Bill Maxwell Sr.’s election as Chief. Mr. Maxwell served the company as Chief through 1966, when the twenty year young Company acquired its first NEW fire truck. It was a 1966 Ford pumper tanker which was purchased for a mere $23,460. This vehicle still serves the district today.
Everett Hempstead was elected the company’s third Chief in 1967. The 1968 elections put Bill Maxwell Sr. back into service as Chief for seven more years, totaling twenty-eight years as Fire Chief for Bill.
1969 came with a new Ford F-250 four wheel drive brush buggy to help with brush fire protection. Expansion continued with the purchase of 3.6 acres of land alongside the fire house from Herman Story, and the Company takeover of all property from the Village Improvement Society in November 1972. Updating followed n 1973 with renovations of the old for the 86th annual Greene County Fire Convention hosted with Greenville in September 1974.
The following year, due to the noted efforts of members Mike Antriello, Tom and Gus Spinner and Skip Noirot, the Little League ball field was build and put into use. 1975 also saw the election of Bill Maxwell Jr. as Fire Chief. The next several years resulted in the acquisition of much need apparatus. Purchases included a new 1975 Ford F-750 pumper tanker with 1500 gallon capacity and a 750 gallon front mounted pump. A new Ford modular van, to serve as an equipment truck, was on line by 1982. Advancements and technologies of the 80’s were evident in the company with the purchase of their 1984 Ford F-350 pickup. Equipped to fight brush fires, it has a skid mount pump and foam for especially hazardous fires.
Late in 1986 and early 1987 we saw the birth of a new four bay 48’ x 60’ fire house that we’re all proud of. In November 1987 Bill Maxwell Jr., who served as Fire Chief for 12 years, retired and Tom Spinner was elected as the new Chief.
Today, in 1988, the Freehold Volunteer Fire Co. Inc is proud of their 43 years of service to the community and 75 proud roster members.
Treasurer………………………………………………Chris Martens, Sr.
Fire Chief……………………………………………Tom Spinner
First Assistant Chief………………Richard Hempstead
Second Assistant Chief……………Wm. F. Maxwell, Jr.
Third Assistant Chief………………Frank Vanderpyle, Jr.
Auxiliary of the Freehold Volunteer Fire Company
Transcribed by Sharon Palmateer from the Greene County
Volunteer Firemen’s Association 1889-1989 One-Hundred Years of Fire Service
In September of 1962, a meeting was held at the Freehold Fire House. The purpose of this meeting was to form an auxiliary to the Freehold Volunteer Fire Company.
Natalie and Delorise Maxwell were the co-chairpersons of this meeting. Also attending were Mae Forrester and Elaine Butts from the Cairo Ladies Auxiliary. They explained how the Cairo Auxiliary operated and gave us much helpful advice.
Delorise Maxwell, Barbara Baron Theora Henderson, Rosemarie Preisner and Eleanor Tegtmeier volunteered to be on the committee to write the by-laws. These by-laws were presented to the auxiliary and were voted on and accepted on November 29, 1962.
As our by-laws state, “The object of this organization is to render assistance to the Freehold Volunteer Fire Company, Inc. in every way possible and create a feeling of good fellowship among our members.” We have tried to follow this concept for the past twenty-seven years and will continue, to the best of our ability, to do so in the years to come.
organization started with twenty members in 1962. Today, we have forty members
on our roll.