April 06, 2020

Hampden Fire Department making history

Exactly one month ago today, between Christmas and New Year’s, before the ice storm and the flu hit the area, Lt. Frank Coombs of the Hampden Fire Department wrote us a very detailed letter about a different type of project the department is pursuing.

The department is compiling its history. But it has little to go on.

The point of his letter was that your help is needed to complete the project. And, in this instance, it is not money that is needed — it is information.

“We do have articles, photos and written records of events from the past,” Coombs wrote, “but only from about the early 1940s forward.”

It is Coombs’ hope our readers will be able to “fill in the gap from the turn of the century to the present.”

Coombs has researched town annual reports and finds “references to fire-related articles from the era of the late 1890’s but no reference to actually having a fire department.”

Among the information he has is that in the town warrant for 1897-1898 an article asked to determine “what sum of money the town will raise by taxation for the protection of Hampden Upper and Lower Corners from fire.”

The following year, an article sought “to see what sum of money the town will vote to raise for protection from fire at Hampden Corner.”

The 1900-1901 warrant sought an appropriation of $400 to protect Lower Corner, and in 1906-07 $400 was requested “to improve the water supply for fire purposes at Hampden Corner.”

Coombs wonders whether J.E. Emerson was the town’s first fire chief, since the warrants indicate he was “paid $15 for services as fire commissioner.”

From the 1912-13 town warrant, we learn “a bill was paid to Bangor Fire Department for $100 for services at East Hampden and Hampden Highlands Fires.” Coombs has copies of other bills paid to the Bangor department for “services provided.”

He questions whether the first firehouse was built sometime in 1924 since he has a copy of a bill from L.M. Sullivan Co. of Bangor dated Dec. 15, 1924, for $240.06 “for building supplies for the Hampden Fire House” and a 1925 bill “for electrifying the fire station for $34.39.”

Coombs’ request is that anyone who has “old photos of fires, parades, firefighters, etc.” will make those articles available to the department to copy.

The department does not know who its first fire chief was, where its first station was or when it obtained its first truck. In fact, it does not even know the date the department was officially established.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. People with information can visit the department at 10 Main Road South, call the station (862-4586), or write Hampden Fire and Rescue, Attn. Frank Coombs, 106 Western Ave., Hampden, 04444.

A loving grandmother has written us to ask your help in brightening the days for a former Bucksport resident who lives in Raymond.

“I am writing to you about my grandson, James Gerry, the son of Margaret and Craig Gerry.

“He was in an accident on Thursday, Jan. 15. He was hit and pinned by a pickup truck and, as a result, had to have his right leg amputated below the knee.

“James is a senior in high school. He is on the Raymond Volunteer Fire Department. He is also a skier, and works an apprenticeship at UNUM towards his college tuition.

“Cards and letters from friends and people who would like to help cheer him during his rehab would mean a lot to him. His address is James Gerry, Brighton Medical Center, New England Rehab, Room 209-A, Brighton Avenue, Portland, 04201. Thank you. Margaret Sukeforth.”

Need a haircut? Members of Boy Scout Troop 15 in Brewer hope you can hold off until the weekend.

Assistant Senior Patrol Leader Matthew Mellott writes that Headquarters Hair Salon is conducting a cutathon to benefit Troop 15 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 1, at Headquarters, 570 Stillwater Ave., Bangor.

Haircuts are $10 each, and all proceeds benefit the troop’s fund-raising efforts for an upcoming trip to Washington, D.C.

For an appointment, call 942-2100.

Want to take the kids bowling Sunday and have it mean more than just having fun by helping Literacy Volunteers of America’s Bangor chapter?

LVA volunteer Kelli Theriault of Bangor hopes you will join others and participate in the Literacy Volunteer Bowlathon from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday at the Bangor-Brewer Bowling Lanes, Wilson Street, Brewer. This facility features candlepin bowling.

Sign-up sheets are available at the LVA Bangor office at 6 State St., and bowlers need at least three sponsors. Call 947-8451 for information.

The LVA-Bangor program includes basic literacy tutoring, English as a second language tutoring and family literacy.

You have a few days left to participate in the Bangor Mall Project Recovery.

In the wake of Ice Storm ’98, Bangor Mall management established Project Recovery on Jan. 19 to help replenish supplies of area food pantries and shelters.

Mall management invites all customers, employees, neighbors to bring nonperishable food items to its customer service center. The items are stacked in the mall’s center court and will be collected through the end of the month. They then will be distributed to area shelters and food pantries.

The Standpipe, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402; 990-8288.

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