Thursday, April 30, 2009

Unexpected Guest at Opening Reception

Welcome to our Opening Reception: From left to right: Trustees Evelyn Drewes and Eileen Forbes-Watkins and members Fred Olsson and Marvin & Nancy Weinberg. In the background are parts of Henry Draper’s telescope and the Riverview Manor Hose Company display.

It was lovely to see so many old and new friends at the Opening Reception for the Society’s exhibition on Sunday. Two Draper descendants, Mary Draper and Gail Maury Bauer, came to see our display on their famous forebears. But the most important guest, unfortunately, could not fit through the door. First Assistant Chief James Sarfaty of the Riverview Manor Hose Company was in attendance, with firemen Steve Horelick and Lary Greiner, and Captain Bob Cadoux. And they brought with them their brand new and very shiny fire engine, a 2008 model Seagrave Marauder II Pumper. The back door bears a gilded logo faithfully copied from fire company’s 1910 charter by artist Forrest Hill. He also rendered in gold the department badge on the front door, originally designed by former Captain Andy DeFrancesco. The company is working on a history for their commemorative journal, and we hope to learn even more about this historic company during the coming year.

In the top photograph, Assistant Chief Sarfaty, Historical Society Trustee Kenneth Loyal Smith, and member Chris Postma admire the new fire truck. Click on the photograph of the truck and you will get a better picture of the gold logo on the door.

The company was formed in the early days of the Riverview Manor development, when it had only a dozen or so houses. You can see below a photograph of the company’s first machine, a 1911 Buick Jumper, loaned by the Livingston Hose Company of Dobbs Ferry. This fire truck had no motor, and when there was a fire, the firemen had to pull the hose cart through the streets with a rope! (A 25 cent fine was levied for each man “not pulling on the rope with enthusiasm while proceeding to or from a fire.”) Even so, the men in that photograph look just as proud of it as Captain Sarfaty and his crew are of theirs.

Riverview Manor Hose Company in 1912. The firemen identified on the back of the postcard are: Captain John O. Berg (at the wheel in the white hat), John S. Miller (in front seat), W. W. Burgess, Charles Doty, and John Donnelly Sr. (in rear seat), Homer G. Balcom (with hand on car), C. F. Meder, Oliver Burdette, and L. D. Van Aiken (on the hose reel), and Charles L. Brookheim (behind Jumper).

We hope that everyone who was not able to be there on Sunday will come and visit us during our regular hours, or call and make an appointment to see the exhibition!
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