Sunday, June 21, 2009

1896: Rusling Hose Company Organized

Thirty-five people attended a meeting in the Rusling School on October 24, 1896 and formed the Broad Street Park Volunteer Hose Company. Howard C. Smith was elected president, Harry E. Allen, secretary and William D. Hunt, treasurer. Coleman A. Gibbs was elected Chief. Chief Gibbs donated a frame building located on Harrison Avenue to be used as a hose house to store firefighting equipment. A committee was appointed to meet with General James F. Rusling concerning the purchase of a lot for the newly acquired hose house. General Rusling offered to donate one of three lots selected by the Company provided the Hose Company be named after the Rusling family. The proposition was accepted and the name was changed to Rusling Volunteer Hose Company. The membership selected Lot 354 on Schiller Avenue between Sewell and Harrison Avenues. On November 25, a special meeting was held and the word "Volunteer" was dropped from the Company name by unanimous vote. The hose house was moved from Harrison Avenue to Lot 354 on March 13, 1897. The Company acquired the Rusling School building from General Rusling and his brother William in November 1897. The Rusling brothers conveyed the school house and lots 375 and 376 Schiller on which it sat in exchange for the sale price and re conveying of lot 354 Schiller Avenue. On January 13, 1898, the original hose house was moved and placed at the rear of the school building. The former school and firehouse at 547 Schiller Avenue is today the home of the Marine Corps League, Trenton Detachment.

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