A History of the
Depauville Volunteer Fire Department
Taken directly from the Depauville Bicentennial Book The Changing Years - A History of Depauville
The Depauville Fire District was formed by the passing of a proposition in January of 1932. On July 1, 1932 a letter was written
by the Jefferson County Board of Supervisors approving the formation of the Depauville Fire District.
(Webmasters Note: The July 1, 1932 date is probably inaccurate as an article in the December 11, 1931 Watertown Daily Times
documents a special election occuring the previous day. In all likelihood, the date should be July 1, 1931)
The Depauville Fire Department is overseen by a board of Fire Commissioners. The first Commissioners were
Clifford Easton, William Huchzermeier, Carl Fry, Harry Fox, and Aaron Gross - Elected November 1931.
On December 10, 1931, a proposition was placed before the voters of the district to raise $5000 for fire fighting equipment
and apparatus. The proposition was passed by a vote of 67 to 45. Part of this money was used to buy a pumper tanker,
a 1929 Sanford, and the rest was used for equipment and supplies.
The first set of by-laws was adopted on May 5, 1932, revised in 1955 and again December 5, 1971.
A proposition on march 14, 1961 was approved to purchase a new pumper to replace the 1929 Sanford, now inadequate to furnish
fire protection to the fire district. (Webmasters Note: The Sanford was still in service, but was not the primary response pumper.
It was used as the "bridge truck, much as our trailer pump is used today. A Dodge with a front mount pump was the main pumper in
service. It was no more adequate than the Sanford, however.) In December 1961 a new Ward LaFrance pumper tanker
capable of pumping 750 gallons of water per minute was acquired.
The fire department is very active in Field Days in Jefferson County, the Jefferson County Firemen's Association, the Northern
New York Firemen's Association, and the New York State Firemen's Association.
The Field Day program was started in 1932 and a second and last for a period of years was held in 1933. The the Firemen
reactivated the program in 1972, developing a waterball team and a marching unit that averages from fifteen to twenty men.
The Field Days have been held each year since 1972 with preparations now underway to join the local 1976 Bicentennial
celebration in July.
Each Christmas the Firemen hold a party at the Town Hall for the local children with "Santa" giving out treats.
Money making projects include "door-to-door" visits, 50-50 raffles, etc.
In this Bicentennial year Depauville residents can be thankful for protection from fires. The Volunteer Firemen, their equipment
and willingness to serve is a far cry from the thirty-gallon chemical tank used in the 1920s.
The following is the roster of 30 members making up the 1932 fire department:
An update of the years since this was written is forthcoming and will appear in this space.
Last Updated April 27, 2007