A Little About The Bozrah Volunteer Fire Company, Inc.
The area that became Bozrah was first settled as part of the original "nine-miles-square" of Norwich, as well as part of the Parish of West Farms. The area become its own parish, called "New Concord" or the "Fourth Society of Norwich," in 1737. The town of Bozrah was incorporated in May 1786 as the 86th town in the state of Connecticut. Our town has the unique distinction of being the only town named "Bozrah" in the United States.
In 1950 when the townspeople of Bozrah had organized a volunteer fire company, First Selectman Lawrence Gilman purchased a 1927 Mack Bulldog pumper from Rye, NY, and It was agreed by all that, with some renovation, to the building this truck would be housed on the first floor of what is now the town hall.
In 1952, after upgrading the 1927 Mack, it was necessary to house the truck in a different location due to the structural concerns of the building. It was voted upon to purchase a stone carriage house (across from the town hall) from the Berkman Brothers for $3,500. A $500 donation from Gilman Brothers helped offset the purchase. The carriage house was not modernized and therefore did not have a heating system, which caused freezing problems for the tank and pump on the engine. In September of 1953, the town allowed the fire company to utilize two bays of the old wooden town garage to house equipment until a permanent fire house could be constructed.
On April 22, 1955, after the hard work of ambitious building and fund raising committees, a ground breaking for the permanent fire house was held. Over 300 townspeople, as well as local and state dignitaries attended. Construction required generous donations, such as the donation of the land form the Hantman family, as well as countless hours of labor by members of the department and community.
Persons instrumental in the construction included Clarance Fries, Nelson Ladd, Saul Mindell, Seymour and Morris Adelman, Frank Bedat, A.J. Falcone, Frank Chojnicki, John Fields, Leonard Woodworth, Bruce Ladd, Arthur Goulart, Ralph Banning, Martin Rogan, Edward Smith, Harold Marks, Henry Sufleski, John Gural, Dave Mathewson, Stanley Tinker, Harry Schatz, Albert Tolson, Cy Grandy, Benard lenehan, and John Beswick.
In 1956, construction on the two bay, single story fire house was complete. Upon purchasing the towns first ambulance in 1974, another bay was added. In June of 1974, Lawrence Gilman deeded a piece of abutting land to the fire company and it was after this gift that a proposal to add one bay and a full second floor was presented and accepted. The third bay was completed in 1975, and one year later the second story hall and kitchen were completed. The total cost of this addition was approximately $48,000.
With rising call volume and additional fire equipment, expansion was again necessary in 1985. The brush truck and ambulance were sharing one bay, which was a great inconvenience and created a storage problem for other equipment therefore the plot of land between the fire house and the town garage was purchased for $30,000. With the purchase of the Service Truck in 1991 it was again necessary to add one bay immediately to the back of the current fire station to house the expanding fleet of apparatus. In June of 2001 the membership felt it was imperative to add on to the fire station due to the need for new apparatus, offices and other areas for members to work and lounge between calls for service.
On June 2, 2001, a ground breaking ceremony was held and the current addition was finished.
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