Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society
History Quarterly Digital Archives

Source: October 1984 Volume 22 Number 4, Pages 153–154

Notes and Comments

Page 153


Paoli Fire Company Marks Diamond Anniversary

More than 200 fire trucks, representing over 80 fire companies, eight bands, and 1,000 marchers paraded through Paoli in early September to help the Paoli Fire Company celebrate its 75th anniversary.

The fire company was organized in the fall of 1908 and received its charter in November 1909. George Kohler was the first president, and Edward Bracken the first Fire Chief. The new company acquired its first piece of equipment, a horse-drawn hand-operated pump wagon, in the spring of 1909. It was housed in the stables of Dewees & Bracken, operators of a coal and feed business on West Central Avenue, prior to the construction of a fire house. The horses to pull the engine were supplied either by Bracken or by Jim Eachus, operator of the livery stable at the southeast corner of the intersection of Lancaster Pike and the road to West Chester,

Not long afterwards the fire company bought a one-cylinder gasoline-powered Watrous pump, and in 1911 a Locomobile chassis was purchased, onto which the pump was placed, with a hose bin built by one of the local carpenters. Paoli's first motor-driven pumper was a Simplex fire truck bought from the Conshohocken Fire Company in 1921.

By contrast, today's equipment, housed in a specially constructed, highly functional, fire house on Darby Road, includes seven pieces of sophisticated equipment, including an 85' snorkel, two 10,000 gallon Pierce pumpers, and a mini-pumper, as well as a new ambulance.

Page 154


Conestoga Recognized as One of Nation's Best High Schools

At ceremonies held in Washington, D. C. in late August, the U. S. Department of Education recognized Conestoga High School as one of 144 high schools "selected as the nation's most distinguished public high schools". (Radnor and Harriton High Schools were also among the five high schools in Pennsylvania given this recognition.) The recognition is based on scholastics, student achievement, teacher effectiveness, and leadership by the administrative staff. Other factors included community and staff involvement, student activities, and the school's high academic standards.

Representing Conestoga at the luncheon ceremony, at which President Ronald Reagan spoke, were Dr. John Rittenmeyer, the school principal, Dr. George Garwood, superintendent of the Tredyffrin-Easttown School District, and L. Jean West, past president of the School Board. They received a specially designed flag denoting "Excellence in Education". It will fly proudly from the flag pole at Conestoga.


Strafford Station Now on National Register

Word was received by the Tredyffrin Township Supervisors, in a letter from Brenda Barrett, Director of the State's Bureau of Historic Preservation dated September 4th, that "as of July 26, 1984. the Strafford Railroad Station, in Chester County, has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places". The registration process was started by the Board of Supervisors in February of 1982.

In seeking this recognition of the architectural and historic significance of the station, it was noted, "The building has served as the railroad station for Strafford since 1887. Previously it was located at Wayne, Pa. where it was the station for several years before being moved to Eagle (renamed Strafford in 1887) in 1884. From 1887 until 1948 the building was also used as Strafford's post office. According to local tradition and many written articles, prior to its use as a station the building was part of the Centennial Exposition held in Fairmount Park in 1876." The importance of the station and the railroad in the development of the area was also noted.


West Portraits Donated to Chester County Historical Society

Benjamin West's portraits of the Morris children, mentioned in Conrad Wilson's article on the Newtown Square Meeting in the previous issue of the Quarterly, are now the property of the Chester County Historical Society. The portraits of Robert and Jane Morris are the earliest known canvasses by the famous artist.

Roland Woodward, the Director of the Society, also announced that a contribution has been made for their restoration, after which they will be on exhibit in the Society's museum in West Chester.


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