Nov. 9, 1929: Fire station at Lanesboro under construction; piped water being investigated

A fire station and clubhouse is being built in Lanesboro just south of the old Fowler store and is the subject of much discussion complimentary to the five-year-old Lanesboro volunteer fire department. Beside this evidence of activity, the department is planning another project — to supply the town with water piped and tapped through a faucet. This privilege will be in addition to two that have accrued already in the short span in which the department has been organized for service.

Beside the proficient work of the department in putting out flames, it also has been responsible in cutting down insurance rates in the center of town to the extent of 25 percent. The town now has only a small stream running nearly parallel with the state highway, from which to pump water to fires. The addition of water mains will be a considerable improvement.

The water will be procured from a drive well extending 700 feet into the ground, in the basement of the new fire house. The well is only three inches in diameter, but will flush pure artesian water when pumped by a small engine. Richard S.

Pritchard is chief and also treasurer of the fire department, which has more than 100 volunteer members. Elliott B. Smith is secretary.

Archie K. Sloper, president of the Pittsfield Board of Underwriters and a resident of Lanesboro, has been a very interested silent worker for the cause. The firemen are called together by a siren which may be heard a mile distant.

The department was organized by citizens of the town with Harry Fowler as the first chief. Others have been Earl Bailey and Warren Newton. It bought a second-hand Reo truck and mounted on its stripped body from a pumper engine capable of throwing water about 385 feet.

The truck was equipped principally to fight forest fires. Besides the pumper the truck bore 1000 feet of hose on a reel. With it the department was successful in saving a large part of the Gunn’s grove colony of cottages at Pontoosuc Lake when four cottages burned to the ground in October, 1927.

The pumper truck recently went up Greylock for the first time a fire truck ever answered a call on the mountain.

It was used to prevent the flames of the burning summit house from spreading.

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