Robertsville Volunteer Fire Company #1 (District 28-2)
In the early part of 1958, several interested men met at the home of William Morris to discuss the establishment of a Volunteer Fire Company. Prior to this time several attempts were made by uninterested individuals to form a fire company, but the cost and lack of response made the efforts fail.
On April 28th, 1958, Clifton T. Barkalow, Attorney, incorporated the Company and on May 5th, 1958, the first organizational meeting was held at the Robertsville School. At this meeting Bob Nivison was elected Chief and William E. Storer as President. A dream has become a reality and the seed was sown. No one could have foreseen the rapid and dynamic growth that was to come in the next half of century.
In October, 1958 the Company acquired its first piece of equipment. A 1940 GMC pumper classified as K-31, purchased through the generosity of Howard Preston for $2500. This truck has become a source of extreme pride through the years as a first-line pumper and today as a Parade Vehicle. It will always occupy an honored place in the Company.
K-34, a 1958 White chain-driven tanker/trailer was purchased to supply water to the Company. It remained in service off and on, until 1962. The Company had no home and the equipment was housed at Frank Boyce’s Garage on Rt. 9. 6.4 acres of land was purchased in November of 1958, from the Lambersons at the present site of the company for use to build a firehouse in the near future. Up until the purchase of a siren in March, 1959 the firefighters used a phone relay system to notify each other of an alarm. This method of notification stayed in use, in one way or another, until phased out later.
A need for a firehouse was apparent and on January 26th 1960, a mortgage was obtained for $10,000 from the Central Jersey Bank and Trust Company. This money was to be used to build a firehouse on the land purchased in 1958. Work began on the original building in March of 1960, and the firehouse was completed a little more than a year later in August of 1961. The original building was erected with the blood, sweat and tears of those men and women who were driven by their sense of community and the many donations of material and labor of so many others.
The years from 1961 to 1963 were filled with many memories. The fighting of some memorable fires at the Stokes home, Julia’s Drive-in, the G&G Egg plant and the Koos Brothers furniture store, to name a few. The classes held at the firehouse by the the Robertsville school, the Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and so much more. The dances and parties to celebrate weddings and christenings of community people made the firehouse a focal point in the lives of many.