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East Norwich FD Day June 16, Drill, Parade, Block Party

Celebrating 100 years of service to the community

The East Norwich Volunteer Fire Department is celebrating its 100th anniversary on Saturday, June 16, with a parade, drill and block party. The drill takes place at 10 a.m. at Firemen’s Field. The parade starts at 6 p.m. and will march from Muttontown to the East Norwich Fire House with the trucks going on to park at the Vernon School. There will be a path for pedestrians to walk back and forth to the East Norwich firehouse where an awards ceremony for the drill will take place, followed by a block party which will begin at about 8 p.m. There will be music from the town’s showmobile as Six Gun entertains the audience.
Local Traffic Advisory

Village of Muttontown Police Chief William McHale said his force will be involved in the parade events. He said the staging area for the parade is on the shoulder of Route 106 north of Muttontown Road. There will be 11 fire departments from the 5th Battalion taking part in the parade. Fire departments marching in the parade include: the Bayville Fire Company, Locust Valley Fire Department, Oyster Bay Fire Co. No. 1 and Atlantic Steamer Fire Co., Syosset Fire Department, Glenwood Fire Company, Roslyn Rescue, Glen Cove Fire Department, Roslyn Highlands, East Norwich Fire Company and Sea Cliff Fire Department.

Chief McHale said the parade will step off officially in the area of the Muttontown Village Hall on Raz Tafuro Way on Route 106. The parade will proceed across 25A and march to the East Norwich fire house and on to the Vernon School.

He said, “Motorists should be aware that for the parade to safely go on it will require that Route 25A be closed from about 5 p.m. until the parade is complete sometime prior to 8 p.m.” He said that for local people who have off driveways in that area along Route 106, they will be allowed access, but there will be no through traffic. He suggested people use alternate routes such as Split Rock Road to connect with Jackson Avenue and Jericho Turnpike.

ENFD History

John Hammond, Town of Oyster Bay historian, is currently in the process of writing a book on the East Norwich Fire Department’s history. Mr. Hammond wrote a history of East Norwich called Crossroads in honor of the East Norwich Tricentennial. In it he details much of the history of the fire company.

In his book Oyster Bay Remembered, Mr. Hammond began the story of the company by relating in great detail a fire that occurred in East Norwich on Feb. 5, 1889. It began in the barn of Gideon Franklin, north of the East Norwich Inn (now Chas. Rothmann’s). Burt Valentine sounded the alarm, and May Frost, the daughter of Halstead Holloway Frost, Esq. the owner of the East Norwich Enterprise ran to ring the church bell. She couldn’t find the key at either Wilbur Johnson’s store or from the church sexton, James Vernon. Instead, she got in through a window. At about the same time, Jennie Whitney Griffin rode her horse to Oyster Bay to alert their fire company, but Mrs. John Waldron had phoned the information to them already. The men were at an event at Fleet’s Hall.

In about 10 minutes, 20 men from Oyster Bay arrived in East Norwich and soon there were 100 people fighting the fire. Mr. Hammond wrote, “Women from the village carried about 70 buckets from McKay’s store as a bucket brigade line was formed from the stream that fed into Brown’s Pond [off Mill River Road]. An early decision was made that the old Franklin barn was going to be lost, so the bucket brigade turned its efforts toward saving the print shop of the East Norwich Enterprise and the East Norwich Hotel.”

The fire was spread by sparks to the adjoining Acker barn, the Frost homestead and Waldron’s tin shop, but the fires there were controlled with the help of the Oyster Bay firefighters who had arrived on the scene. Mr. Hamond wrote, “A short while later it began to rain and snow and the residents of the village again began to feel secure that the burning embers would be thoroughly doused; but just in case, 16 men stayed on guard overnight to make sure there was no re-ignition.”

Although East Norwich Enterprise editor John Remsen pleaded with residents to form a fire company, it was more than 20 years later, in 1912, that the East Norwich Volunteer Fire Company was formed.

In the book Crossroads, Mr. Hammond names some of the men involved in creating the fire company, and they are a roster of names whose descendants are still volunteering at the firehouse.

Mr. Hammond wrote that it was in 1911 that businessmen and residents started talking of having their own fire company. On Jan. 20, 1912, James H. Vernon was elected chief of the new company and Richard Downing Jr. was the secretary. Daniel T. Horton offered a wagon to be used as a ladder truck. Arthur Martling offered to do all the iron work on the wagon. Vernon J. Waldron offered to do the woodwork. Walter Hoagland was appointed to do the letter stencils for the equipment. Chief Vernon took on the responsibility of erecting the alarm they had bought from the LIRR, and the process was begun.

The ENFD Today

The East Norwich Fire Company No.1 website, tells their story, saying they have a rich and glorious tradition of service since their incorporation in the year 1912. “We have stayed with the only constant and that is change,” It states.

In 1952 new homes were built in what had been the Horton’s potato farm and the communities of Radcliff Manor and Norwich Green added to the hamlet’s population. That growth in population created the need for a larger fire department. In 1963, the present firehouse was dedicated. This year, 2012, an addition to the building was needed to conform to the Homeland Security regulations.

Over the years they have added new equipment as needed. Among their new apparatus is the new 516 tower ladder. They have also acquired infrared vision devices that enable them to see victims trapped inside a burning building even through thick smoke. It also allows them to see fire that is isolated and not visible. Many fires hide in walls and confined spaces with the infrared camera they can see the fire and extinguish it before it becomes a problem.

The ENFD added, “Edmund Burke once wrote, ‘The easiest way for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.’ We at East Norwich Fire Company No.1 have taken applications from both good men and women who reside in our district and they have generously donated the time and energy required to become East Norwich Firefighters, EMTs, AEMTs or Paramedics. I hope that you will support us as one of the pillars of the Oyster Bay- East Norwich Community.”

FYI: The Drill starts at 10 a.m. in Firemen’s Field in Oyster Bay. The drills test and develop the skills of the firefighters and will include: Individual Ladder, Three-Man Ladder, Running Ladder, Running Hose, Running Hose Replacement, Efficiency Replacement, Efficiency, Two Into One and the last event, Buckets.

News

You may not actually see who is leaving books and magazines for the commuters at the Locust Valley Train Station, but those who have nicknamed these delightful and dedicated women the “Book Ladies.”

Sue Klein and Joan McCauley, who are Friends of the Library, have been collecting donated books from the community and displaying them at the Long Island Railroad waiting area every week. The Book Ladies have also displayed Locust Valley Library programs so that commuters are aware of all the wonderful events that are going on.  

There will be a different look to the Oyster Bay-East Norwich Board of Education come September. Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations Christopher Van Cott is leaving his position to take a similar role in the Oceanside School District. He is following in the footsteps of past OBEN School Superintendent Dr. Phyllis Harrington, who also left to take a similar position in Oceanside last year. The district will begin their search for a replacement for Van Cott this summer.


Sports

The Varsity Baseball Team finished the season with a league record of 11-3-1. In the playoffs, the team swept Carle Place in a best of three set to advance to the county finals vs. Wheatley at Hofstra University. The team finished the season as County runner-ups. The team was a nice combination of veteran varsity leaders and new comers to the varsity with six senior players and four freshmen on the squad. Along with four juniors, the team maintained the winning ways of a program that has won the league championship 7 out of the last eight years and won the county championship 6 of those years. Senior Berkeley Golon, Junior Jackson O’Neill, and Junior Stephen Spiegel received All-County honors. Senior Robbie Venegas and Freshman Harrison Treble received All-League honors. With two All-County pitchers coming back and four freshmen going into their second varsity season mixed with the other juniors and new players coming up from another successful JV season, the team expects to continue to work towards the goal of another county title next season.

The 2014 Oyster Bay High School Lady Baymen varsity spring track team recently completed a most memorable and record breaking season. Two school records were shattered this season; one relay record and one individual. Oyster Bay’s 4x800 meter relay team comprised of seniors Nicole Giannetti, Cassandra Iacono and juniors Linda Cameron and Rachel Wesley, broke the existing school record, and later broke their own record with a time of 10:01.56 at the Section VIII State Qualifier Meet on May 29.

Nicole Giannetti‘s senior year as a member of the Oyster Bay Girls’ Varsity Track team will also be one that will be long remembered. In addition to helping break the school’s 4x800 meters relay record, Giannetti broke the school’s 2000 meter steeplechase record, with a time of 7:23.79. Winning the 1500 meter run in very dramatic fashion at the Nassau Coaches Invitational, with an amazing time of 4:59 was a memorable mid-season highlight. Giannetti earned All-Conference honors in both the 1500 meters and 3000 meter runs and All County honors in the 2000 meter steeplechase. Giannetti qualified for the New York State Track and Field Championship in the 2000 meter steeplechase, finishing fifth and thus earning All-State honors. Giannetti was recruited by Haverford College to run for them when she attends this fall where she will study bio-chemistry.

Calendar

OB Band Concerts

Wednesday, July 23

Music Under The Stars

Friday, July 25

Annual Chicken BBQ

Saturday, July 26



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com