Goodsell Museum  
P. O. Box 513, Old Forge, NY 13420 ~ Phone/Fax: 315 369-3838
Museum Hours:  Tuesday through Saturday - 10am - 3pm  ~  or by appointment

Fire - 100 Years of Answering the Call
Exhibit from December 1, 2006 - October 31, 2007

  1906 Cadillac - donated by Army Armstrong

Original Old Forge Fire Department Station on Crosby Blvd. - built in 1911 by local contractor George Goodsell. The building today is the home of Nathan's Bakery.

  Old Forge Firemen on Parade in June of 1939 in their vintage 1906 Cadillac Squad Car. The parade was held during the 6th Annual Herkimer Co. Convention held in Old Forge that year.

The Town of Webb Historical Association's exhibit - Fire - 100 Years of Answering the Call - celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the Old Forge Fire Department that began in 1907. The exhibit also included a brief history of the mutual aid neighboring fire departments in Big Moose, Eagle Bay, Inlet, Otter Lake, and Woodgate.
At the Masonic Temple in Old Forge on May 18, 1907, twenty-one members of the community gathered together to form the Rescue Hook & Ladder Co. #1. Sitting around the table that evening were several Adirondack guides & boat builders, two stonemasons, two fish culturists, a store proprietor, a store clerk, a bookkeeper, three carpenters, a baker, a hotel clerk, a mill worker, and a blacksmith who ranged in age from 22 to 60 years of age. These were the men who answered the volunteer call to establish the first fire protection service in the fledgling hamlet of Old Forge, a gateway community to the Central Adirondacks. The Historical Association's Exhibit paid tribute to them and all the men & women of our region who have followed in their footsteps. The exhibit also chronicled the dramatic changes that have taken place in the Fire Service over the past 100 years.

50th Anniversary Photo taken May 18, 1957

1957 Photo of OFFD volunteers

S. Herman, W. Ball, A. Armstrong, W. Peacock, C. Barker, L. Helmer, A. Wright, D. Beckingham, F. Farmer, C. Pfaff, E. Denio, E. Glenn, E. Hurley, J. Lindsay, R. Schmuck, P. Smith, A. Brussel Jr., A. Eyre Sr., F. Ritz, R. Smith, R. Perkins, R. Hurlbut, E. Madore, J. Simpson,
K. Hoffman, W. Marks, J. Barker, R. Lindsay, G. Deis, F. Teich, P. Burdick, R. Chase, W. Wark, H. Hollister, A. MacDonald, R. Crofut,
C. Kiefer, G. Breakey, P. Rivett, T. Pinto, J. Critelli, C. Burdick, C. Joy, R. Pearsall, A. Eyre Jr., I. Pearsall, L. Appleton, D. Hollister,
R. Watson, P. Russell, W. Hall, K. Hollister, J. Burnett

75th Anniversary Photo - May 18, 1982

1982 75th Anniversary OFFD firemen

Front Row: Bill Peacock, Bob Pashley, Joe Lindsay, Ed DeLong, Carleton Barker, Floyd Farmer, Brate Huguenin, John Ritz, Len Helmer, Ken Rivett, Ellis Denio, Chuck Gebhardt, Sam Herman, Doc Emerson, Daryl Carman, Pat Russell, Gary Russell, Dave Langworthy.
Center Row: Jeff Greene, Lance Maly, Keith Hollister, Ron Hollister, Bob Lindsay, Art Eyre Jr., Gene Pelletier, Bob Lowenberg, Bob Liddle, John Callen, Angie Cincotta, Dan Roberts, John Butler, Fran Scanlon, Bob Crofut, Jerry Olsen, Paul Morin, Bob Pearsall, Ken Russell, Al Brussel, Sande Hugh, Jeff Carr, Orlo Burch, Jim Brockway, Tom Groves, Frank Schrader, Andy Russell
Back Row: Jim Russell, John Russell, Pete Russell, Pete Shannon, Tom Deis, Fred Walker, Bob Moore, Jack Burnett, John Weedmark, Bill Weedmark, Dan Rivet Jr., Jamie Loson, Bruce Risley, Larry Gaudin, Dave Wallace, Jan Russell, Jim Joy, Ron Rundell

100th Anniversary Photo - May 18th, 2007

100th Anniversary firemen in 2007

Seated Front Row: Frank Ritz, Al Brussel, Bob Watson, Jack Ball, Ron Hollister, Art Eyre, Bob Lowenberg, Tom Deis, & Ray Carr
Second Row: Jamie Loson, Jeanette Berkstresser, Jack Graham, Kathy De Vincenzi, Leo De Vincenzi, Dylan Clark, Jessica Balling,
Pete Shannon, Katie Boesche-Kiefer, Valerie Mills, Danielle Hoepfl, Terry Lehnen, Gary Feeney, Dave Berkstresser,
Ron Feeney, Dave Langworthy, Jim Carpenter, & Dawn Lenci
Back Row: Mary Henry, Emily Croneiser, Jim Vanderlinder, Ann Croneiser, Keith Baird, Robert Moore, Jordy Cudea, Paul Schuyler,
Chuck Betz, Fred Smith, Richard Risley, Pete Croneiser, John Weekmark, Tony Tormey, Gary Staab, Charlie Bogardus, Bryce Weedmark,
Ron Leszyk, Jim Cole Sr., Trevor Tormey, Brian Mahardy, Dan Rivet, Doug Clark, Steve Hoepfl, Bryan Easton, Nick Feeney,
Jim Cole Jr., Dave Leach, Peg Masters, & Rian Harrison


Death in the Line of Duty

While responding to a fire in Thendara, Old Forge Fire Chief Leroy Schmuck suffered a heart attack that resulted in his death the following day, June 28, 1965. The tragic event marked the first and only time during the past 100 years that an Old Forge Fire Department member has lost his life in the line of duty. Leroy joined the department in July of 1955, served as an Assistant Fire Chief for several years, and was elected Fire Chief by his comrades at their annual meeting in April of 1963. He had lived in the Old Forge area for 17 years with his wife Ruth and their six children and was employed by the Old Forge Supply Co. Chief Schmuck was only 46 years old at the time of his death. A fire department honor guard and large contingent of firemen throughout the North Country attended his funeral at Niccolls Church on July 1, 1965. In the front entryway of the Old Forge Fire Department today is an engraved bronze plaque erected in honor of the ultimate sacrifice Leroy made in service to the Old Forge community.

Leroy Schmuck’s wife Ruth died in 2002. Their children contacted Old Forge Fire Department secretary Tony Tormey soon afterward with a request to help them put in an application to have their father’s name added to the Fallen Firefighter’s Memorial in Albany, NY. In October of 2005, Leroy Schmuck’s name was added to the wall along with ten other NYS firemen who lost their lives in the line of duty. Hundreds of firefighters and their families from all across the States, including Leroy’s son & five daughters, his brother, and an honor guard of Old Forge firemen, attended the memorable ceremony officiated by Governor George Pataki.

Family of Leroy Schmuck of the Old Forge Fire Department


50 Years of Service — Old Forge Fire Department Honor Role
* 2007 Current Members

W. Lewis Armstrong ~ 10/1/1930

Charles Gebhardt ~ 4/15/1930 Walter D. Marks ~ 5/18/1907
William S. Ball ~ 10/2/1924 Earl S. Glenn ~ 8/1/1908 Robert Pashley ~ 11/1/1944
Albert W. Brussel* ~ 2/5/1947 Wilfred Hall ~ 9/4/1946 William Peacock* ~ 6/6/1951

E. Albert Brussel ~ 4/6/1938

Leonard D. Helmer ~ 1/4/1930 Robert Pearsall ~ 6/6/1951
John E. Burnett ~ 8/6/1944 David Hollister* ~ 1/7/1948 Eugene Pelletier ~ 8/4/1954
Robert Crofut* ~ 7/7/1943 Keith Hollister* ~ 9/16/1944 Frank C. Ritz Jr.* ~ 10/3/1939
Leroy Deis ~ 9/1/1937 Ronald Hollister* ~ 12/2/1953 Danforth J. Rivet Sr. ~ 10/6/1937
Tom Deis* ~ 10/7/1953 Charles Joy ~ 2/4/1943 Kennith Rivett ~ 6/6/1923
Art Eyre Jr.* ~ 4/6/1949

Charles W. Kiefer Sr.* ~ 7/7/1943

Kenneth Russell* ~ 5/2/1951
Floyd D. Farmer ~ 3/4/1925 Joseph E. Lindsay ~ 4/7/1937 Robert Watson* ~ 4/6/1949
Larry Gaudin ~ 12/6/1950 Robert N. Lindsay Jr. ~ 3/5/1952  

Click HERE to view the 1907 - 2007 Old Forge Fire Department Roster in PDF format.
Over 600 names:
* marks 2007 Current Members

Photo below of the present fire station built in 1949

1979 View of the Old Forge Fire Station

Contact the Director Gail Murray if you have photos or stories to share.

Information provided is from the best knows sources and is subject to change. Permission to copy any or all of this document must be obtained in writing by contacting the Town of Webb Historical Association, P. O. Box 513, Old Forge, NY 13420
These records are provided for not-for-profit research purposes only.
Please contact the Historical Association’s Director at 315-369-3838 or by E-Mail. To share additional information about information that can be added to our files.
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