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  1. #1
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Default 1903 Firehouse Time Capsule - Madison, NJ

    Madison stumbles upon its past as 1903 time capsule is found
    Demolition of old firehouse leads to discovery

    BY JAKE REMALY • DAILY RECORD • November 7, 2008

    MADISON -- When construction workers demolished the 1903 Madison firehouse at the corner of Cook and Central avenues last Friday to make way for affordable senior housing, they saw a flash of metal in the bricks.


    They had been taking care to save the cornerstone, which the fire department wanted to incorporate into their new fire headquarters.

    "When we started to chip through the bricks, someone noticed a little metal flap, so we were very careful," said Louis Riccio, executive director of the Madison Housing Authority, which is moving into a new building to be built at the site. "They covered it and chipped away the rest of the brick on top of it. They opened it up and, sure enough, inside was a tin box that had been soldered shut. And everything was jammed in there."

    The tin box was about 6 inches by 12 inches, and contained about 50 items, including a horseshoe, a key, a little metal bank, Indian head coins, postcards and booklets from fraternal organizations with their constitutions and bylaws from 1903.

    There also was a small envelope with cursive handwriting on it and four pennies inside. The writing mentions a person involved with the fire company.

    "Whoever finds this have a drink to his memory," it says indicating the pennies should be used.

    The time capsule was placed in the hollowed out "L"-shaped cornerstone. The cornerstone was placed during a ceremony on the afternoon of Thursday, Aug. 13, 1903.

    The building's demolition was completed Wednesday night and construction on the new four-story building is scheduled to begin this spring. Officials hope to move into the building by next Christmas. The building will house the Madison Housing Authority and the Madison Affordable Housing Corporation, in addition to 12 affordable housing units for people 62 or older.

    Kate Malcolm, the collections custodian for the Madison Historical Society, was called by Mayor Mary-Anna Holden when the time capsule was discovered. Malcolm said the time capsule contained original newspapers and postcards they had not seen before.

    On Thursday, Malcolm handled the items with white cotton gloves at the historical society's office at the Madison library and continued to catalogue them, entering the items into a computer database.

    Calling the find "phenomenal," Holden said the library plans to temporarily display the items to the public.

    "It was a treasure trove of not just things from 1903, but they had things put in the cornerstone from 1882," she said.

    Fire Chief Douglas Atchison said he was impressed by the history left by fellow firefighters 105 years ago.

    "I think it's tremendous," he said. "I really was surprised by the contents of the time capsule, and I think those guys outdid themselves. I didn't think people would have thought about such a thing. To take the measures that they took to preserve part of their history and tradition is fabulous."

    Holden said two time capsules were recently placed in the borough. In 2000, a capsule was placed with the front walkway to Hartley-Dodge Memorial Building and another time capsule was installed in the statue of James Madison at the center of town.

    Jake Remaly can be reached at (973) 428-6621 or jremaly1@gannett.com.


    See the website for pictures and a great video.


    http://www.dailyrecord.com/article/2...NTPAGECAROUSEL
    Last edited by ChiefKN; 11-07-2008 at 08:44 AM.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."


  2. #2
    Forum Member RspctFrmCalgary's Avatar
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    Cool ......
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  3. #3
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    I have worked with the MFD many, many times. I had some great cases out of there.

    This is a first class outfit, combo FD with progressive management, top notch facilities and state of the art equipment.

    I was very happy when I read this article this morning. Good for them! Coming from a FD with tons of history myself, (much of it written by members of my family), I can certainly appreciate the value of this "find".
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Here is another article that was in the the Star Ledger.

    It was and continues to be an incredable find...........

    Be Safe,

    Captain Lou
    "Got Foam?"


    Madison firehouse time capsule yields 'treasure trove' of history
    Friday, November 07, 2008
    BY LESLIE KWOH
    Star-Ledger Staff
    When Lou DeRosa and fellow firefighters paid a last visit to Madison's old firehouse before it was demolished last week, they thought the only keepsake they'd be bring ing back was the building's cornerstone. They had no idea that inside the concrete slab they'd find a time capsule, dating back more than a century.

    "It was the mother lode of treasure, boy!" said DeRosa, the borough's fire captain.

    It was also a history lesson. Inside the sealed metal box, the size of a loaf of bread, DeRosa and the crew found an assortment of goods their predecessors had socked away to tell the story of how Madison got its first fire department in 1881.

    One of the largest relics is a full- page newspaper spread advertising a December 1877 town meeting to discuss the creation of a fire department. Just two months earlier, borough historians say, a blaze had swept through the commercial area, destroying a half dozen shops and residences. Madison, then a village of Chatham Township, had to depend on fire companies from neighboring towns to put out the blaze.

    "Of course, by the time they got there, it was too late to do anything," explained Kate Malcolm, the collection custodian at the Madison Historical Society. "It was the worst conflagration Madison has ever known."

    The proposal was apparently successful. By 1881, Madison had completed its first fire department on Central Avenue. The Hook and Ladder Company stayed there until 1903, when it moved to a new building across the street. It was that building, which workers demolished Friday to make way for a senior apartment complex, that housed the time capsule for the next century.

    "It's quite a find, and a treasure trove," said Mayor Mary-Anna Holden, a history buff. "I love this stuff. History really comes to life when you can really touch it like that."

    Among the other artifacts recovered from the time capsule are floor plans for the first fire building, postcards depicting local landmarks like Grace Episcopal Church (which still exists today), and a coin believed to be an 1860s presidential campaign souvenir for Ulysses S. Grant. There is even a horseshoe, which historians believe was worn by one of the horses that hauled the fire equipment.

    Perhaps one of the most coveted finds is an envelope containing four Indian pennies, dated 1880, 1881, 1900 and 1903 to mark impor tant dates in the construction of the two firehouses. The coins are accompanied by a handwritten note signed by a Stewart Burk -- believed to have been the firehouse's resident caretaker -- asking the reader to use the pennies to "have a drink to his memory."

    "Our forefathers did us well," DeRosa concluded yesterday. "What they put in there was enough to give us a peek into what it was like -- the beginning of our history."

    DeRosa said the 25-member fire department, which recently moved to yet another location, on Kings Road, is now hatching ideas for its own time capsule. Among the "modern" goods they plan to stash away are DVDs, videos and photographs.

    But, he added, they will also follow their predecessors' example and include an old-fashioned handwritten note, though no one is yet sure what to write.

    "But it'll be something that hopefully someone in 100-odd years, when they read it, will be just as amazed as I was," DeRosa said.

    The Madison Historical Society plans to preserve the relics in the coming weeks before displaying them at a public place, officials said.



    Leslie Kwoh may be reached at lkwoh@starledger.com or (973) 539-7910.



    ©2008 Star Ledger
    © 2008 NJ.com All Rights Reserved.

  5. #5
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    Sorry that the picture is dark.

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    This space for rent

  6. #6
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    This is a first class outfit, combo FD with progressive management, top notch facilities and state of the art equipment.
    Coming from the other side of the county, i've never had the pleasure of working with them.

    However, the town of Madison is a beautiful little "all american" town. If I could afford it, i'd move there in a hearbeat.

    I did attend a LODD funeral for one of theirs a few years back and the guys from Madison were all good guys.

    Obviously, that type of class and pride has a long tradition. I'm afraid to see what our guys left in the foundation back in the 60's!
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptLou View Post
    Here is another article that was in the the Star Ledger.

    It was and continues to be an incredable find...........

    Be Safe,

    Captain Lou
    "Got Foam?"


    Madison firehouse time capsule yields 'treasure trove' of history
    Friday, November 07, 2008
    BY LESLIE KWOH
    Star-Ledger Staff
    When Lou DeRosa and fellow firefighters paid a last visit to Madison's old firehouse before it was demolished last week, they thought the only keepsake they'd be bring ing back was the building's cornerstone. They had no idea that inside the concrete slab they'd find a time capsule, dating back more than a century.

    "It was the mother lode of treasure, boy!" said DeRosa, the borough's fire captain.

    It was also a history lesson. Inside the sealed metal box, the size of a loaf of bread, DeRosa and the crew found an assortment of goods their predecessors had socked away to tell the story of how Madison got its first fire department in 1881.

    One of the largest relics is a full- page newspaper spread advertising a December 1877 town meeting to discuss the creation of a fire department. Just two months earlier, borough historians say, a blaze had swept through the commercial area, destroying a half dozen shops and residences. Madison, then a village of Chatham Township, had to depend on fire companies from neighboring towns to put out the blaze.

    "Of course, by the time they got there, it was too late to do anything," explained Kate Malcolm, the collection custodian at the Madison Historical Society. "It was the worst conflagration Madison has ever known."

    The proposal was apparently successful. By 1881, Madison had completed its first fire department on Central Avenue. The Hook and Ladder Company stayed there until 1903, when it moved to a new building across the street. It was that building, which workers demolished Friday to make way for a senior apartment complex, that housed the time capsule for the next century.

    "It's quite a find, and a treasure trove," said Mayor Mary-Anna Holden, a history buff. "I love this stuff. History really comes to life when you can really touch it like that."

    Among the other artifacts recovered from the time capsule are floor plans for the first fire building, postcards depicting local landmarks like Grace Episcopal Church (which still exists today), and a coin believed to be an 1860s presidential campaign souvenir for Ulysses S. Grant. There is even a horseshoe, which historians believe was worn by one of the horses that hauled the fire equipment.

    Perhaps one of the most coveted finds is an envelope containing four Indian pennies, dated 1880, 1881, 1900 and 1903 to mark impor tant dates in the construction of the two firehouses. The coins are accompanied by a handwritten note signed by a Stewart Burk -- believed to have been the firehouse's resident caretaker -- asking the reader to use the pennies to "have a drink to his memory."

    "Our forefathers did us well," DeRosa concluded yesterday. "What they put in there was enough to give us a peek into what it was like -- the beginning of our history."

    DeRosa said the 25-member fire department, which recently moved to yet another location, on Kings Road, is now hatching ideas for its own time capsule. Among the "modern" goods they plan to stash away are DVDs, videos and photographs.

    But, he added, they will also follow their predecessors' example and include an old-fashioned handwritten note, though no one is yet sure what to write.

    "But it'll be something that hopefully someone in 100-odd years, when they read it, will be just as amazed as I was," DeRosa said.

    The Madison Historical Society plans to preserve the relics in the coming weeks before displaying them at a public place, officials said.



    Leslie Kwoh may be reached at lkwoh@starledger.com or (973) 539-7910.



    ©2008 Star Ledger
    © 2008 NJ.com All Rights Reserved.
    Hey Lou, I think I saw Dusty in one of those old pics!
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber dmleblanc's Avatar
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    We're planning to build a new station sometime next year....Now I'm getting ideas....
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
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    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
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    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Wasn't Harve on the committee for the time capsule????
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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