Remember the Village Queen in Lanark?

Remember the Village Queen in Lanark?
Many buildings in the village of Lanark are at least 100 years old plus and look to be good for another hundred. But, one thing that would not go on indefinitely was the “Village Queen,” an old steam fire engine that gave up after 40 or 50 years of racing to fires.
When the fire inspector called for a surprise test one day in 1944, it took 20 minutes to get up steam. That did it. The firemen declared war and went gunning for a new fire engine. It’s a long story but starting in 1944 with a powerful trailer pump which they later had mounted on a truck, they had two modern pumper trucks assembled by Beauchamp’s truck body plant at Hurdman’s Bridge, Ottawa.
Photo from Jay Playfair’s album thanks to Laurie Yuill Middleville historian
These highly rated new trucks were acquired in 1947 and 1950 at a total cost of only $7,740 about half the cost of a single factory-built fire truck in the 50s. Half of the cost of the fire apparatus was raised by the firemen with field days and dances, the balance by town council.
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Chief of the village fire company was Del Storle, popular barber and pool room owner who has been on the brigade 20 years, 10 of them as chief. At the last test, the fire inspector found that from the time he pulled the alarm switch that sounded the big siren, until the new pumper was sending water through hoses 300 yards from the fire hall. It was less than 4 minutes. Rated at 500 gallons per minute, it delivered 680 gpm. Fire insurance rates dropped considerably the first year after the new truck was bought.
From Elaine Playfair’s photo album thanks to Middleville historian Laurie Yuill-
In addition they had a three-door fire hall built in 1948 and a big Legion Hall upstairs. Town constable was William Trail. In the reeve’s chair in the 1950s was: lumber mill owner Oswald E. Rothwell. Around the council table in the big stone Town Hall on council nights were: Councillors Robert Dowdall, of Campbell’s Sash and Door factory; Robert MacFarlane, son of an early Lanark family and in the hardware business; James McLaren, retired farmer and member of an early family here; John Herron, whose family were early lumber people here. Town Clerk J. Elmer Paul who spent his working hours as a dyer at the Clyde Woollen Mills, which became the Glenayr-Knit Ltd.
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ome and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place and The Tales of Almonte


About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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