History of the Ben Lomond Fire Department and Ben Lomond Fire Protection District.
Figures who contributed to this compilation
- Earl Lyon, Ben Lomond Fire Chief
- Carl Conelly, Chairman of the Board
- Mrs. Jackie Conelly, Ben Lomond Resident
The Ben Lomond Fire Department dates from October 1903 when the people of the town turned out to decorate the hall for the First Annual Dance. The ladies made sandwiches and cakes for the midnight repast and a fine time was had, along with a financial success. After the dance the males of the community began looking over catalogs of fire carts and were rewarded on the arrival of a bright red hose cart. Then came the competition for a place on the drag, and with much practice and tall tales of lightening hook-ups the Department was actually born. Ben Lomond was then the envy of every village from Santa Cruz to Saratoga.
Then came the problem of housing the equipment. Finally in 1905, through the efforts of W. F. Silvey, and the donation of labor by Erich Petersen, James Franklin and others, a house was built on the property of F. A. Cody. On July 4th, 1905, a very large celebration was held on the Perkins lot and Charles Hartman was elected the first Fire Chief of Ben Lomond. Ed Dougherty and Tom Petersen were elected team Captains, and the Fire Department organization went on from there.
With nine fire hydrants on the mains of the town, fire protection in Ben Lomond was tops. Early in Chief Hartman’s administration there was a fire call in the Ben Lomond Redwood Park, evidenced by the fire signal of that time, a large steel triangle sounded by a striker, just as the Chief was passing the house with his team, so he hitched onto the cart and went off at a gallop. Arriving at the fire the hose was layed, but alas, the spanners had bounced out of the jockeybox and no connection could be made. Many of the fires fought by the fire laddies include the fire of the Ben Lomond Hotel in 1913, with the finale of the laddies rallying around the flag pole, the only thing saved. Many other mellow accounts are to be heard. The steel triangle was replaced by a fire bell as when the fire signal was given near noon time, all the mill workers would quit work for lunch.