Keystone Fire Company

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Walking Tour Stop

Keystone Fire Company

Hello there friends! I see you’re looking closely at the building. Take a good look, there are plans to remodel the first and second floor as well as paint the exterior of the building. We are even installing a new heating system! I’ve been told the remodel will cost around $55.000 but it’ll be worth it! I believe Bob Smith Construction is renovating the first floor and Rock Towe Development Corporation is doing the second. Oh! Rock Towe is even creating an original design for the 3rd floor windows! It seems like it is going to be a real sight once it’s finished! It’s a lot of money, and a lot of work but that is how you get results.

You know, The Keystone Hook & Ladder Company spent $15.000 to build this
firehouse, that was 50 years ago, back in 1899. Before this firehouse was built all of the equipment was housed at The Vigilant Fire Company and then the Shawnee Fire Company was nice enough to let us rent a space connected to their firehouse for $100. That was all a bit before my time, but some of the older charter members speak of the early days. I enjoy hearing their stories and most of the charter members enjoy telling them.

History is quite fascinating, I must say. Everything is always changing! New people, new businesses, new buildings and new technologies. Just a few years back in 1948 we purchased a fog truck to put out fires. Before then we would use a chemical truck. High pressure fog is much more time efficient at putting out serious fires. The way some of the members talk, it was just yesterday when we purchased our last chemical engine and sold the old one to the Mount Gretna Fire Company. Surprise, surprise that was back in 1923!

I’m unsure if any of our current members were present when the Keystone Hook &
Ladder Company was originally chartered in 1890 but this is why we write everything down right? The more history we write down the more we can tell the future generations about the past and the goals we have achieved. If you really are interested in history I recommend stopping by the central national bank. Take care all!

29 N. 4th St, Columbia, PA 17512

The Keystone Hook & Ladder company was chartered October 25, 1890, by a group of Columbians mostly employees of the Keeley Stove Company, who thought the other fire companies could be profitably augmented by a hook and ladder company.


The first aerial ladder was a D. D. Hayes design American LaFrance horse-drawn tiller model. 


The current building was constructed for $15,000 and dedicated after a huge fireman’s parade on July 1, 1899.

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