1882 Remington Fire Engine

Homecoming Parade Celebration

The following is a summary of the Homecoming Parade Celebration in the words of Allen W. Clark.

Allen Clark, Fire Chief
Allen Clark, author/contributor
(Click on the image above to enlarge)

ps.  Congratulations to Allen who was recently promoted to Fire Chief of the Fellows Club Volunteer Fire Department

1880 Fire History Relived in Conneautville

1880 Fire History Relived in Conneautville

      On Saturday, July 13, 2002 a piece of history was pulled down Main Street during the 28th Annual Conneaut Valley Homecoming Parade. The 1882 Remington Fire Engine, which is owned by the Fellows Club Volunteer Fire Department and Ambulance Service in Conneautville, made its first journey by horses through the Borough since 1964. Being pulled by a pair of two year old Belgian horses named Margo and Dolly, and driven by Dave Nicolls with help from Bernard Cantral and Chad Nicolls, all from Conneautville, it was like reliving the 1880's all over again. "I wish I could have been on the streets of Conneautville during the 1880's to see what life and the town was like and to see the fire department at work," said Fire Chief Paul Chason.

      Dave Nicolls wore a replica 1800 red firefighter shirt donated by Richard Robb, President of the Firefighter's Historical Museum in Erie, Pennsylvania, and the original red leather 1800's fire chief's helmet made in New York City, which was worn by many fire chiefs over the years. "It was a great honor to be able to help the Fellows Club by pulling this historical fire engine for them", said Mr. Nicolls. "To some who watched the parade it looked like a team of horses pulling an old wagon with a pump on it. To those who tried to get it to pump in the 1950's and 1970's and those who took it to the Firefighter's Museum, it was reliving and preserving a moment of history from the then Conneautville and now Fellows Club Volunteer Fire Department and Ambulance Service that had been lost and forgotten for several years," said Allen Clark, the coordinator and historian of the project.

      Thursday night of the Homecoming Fair was an open house for Past, Life, and Current Fellows Club Members and their families to have a chance to reminisce and to "remember when", and telling stories to the newer generations which have come after them. Much was learned by today's emergency responders of the struggles not only battling fires and responding on emergency medical calls, but for funding, volunteers to help, and newer equipment. "It's good to see the younger generations of men and women take an interest in what it was like fighting fires and providing first aid during our active years," said Robert Butterfield, Past President and Firefighter from the 1950's, which was echoed by Otto Koehler, Past Secretary and Firefighter also from the 1950's. Both of these gentlemen are Life members and are two of the oldest members of the Organization.

      An estimated 300 people visited the historical fire engine and display of fire, fire police, ambulance service, and fire prevention from 1800 to 2002. Special thank you to Gerald F. Carless, Tim Mead, Todd Mead, Drew Longo, Jesse Robertson, Kevin Maynard, Dan Laird, and Dean Carless for transporting the fire engine to and from the fire engine's new home at the Firefighter's Historical Museum located at 428 Chesnut Street in Erie. Also thank you to all the Fellows Club Members that helped throughout the week at the exhibit and getting the station and equipment looking like new.

      Future displays of emergency departments will also be on display at the Meadville Public Library through the Crawford County Historical Society from September 9 to October 7, 2002 in the reading area on the second floor of the library.

Back to:
Minutes of the Meeting held by the Borough Council during which approval was voted to purchase the fire engine,
The New Fire Engine newspaper article, July 22, 1882.
Howe Patent Advertisement Flyer.
The Remington's First Big Fire newspaper article, 1886.
Homecoming of the Fire Engine newspaper article, July 2002.

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Established: 6 Mar 2003
Updated: 18 Dec 2005
Photography Copyright © 2003 Clare Nicolls and Allen Clark
Digital Image Copyright © 2003 Paul McLaughlin
Copyright © 2003 Allen Clark and the Fellows Club Volunteer Fire Department and Ambulance Service in Conneautville
Copyright © 2003 Paul McLaughlin/ Lisa K. Slaski/ Martha S. Magill