Early days of Radnor Fire Company (as the North Wayne Hose Company) Andrew L. Fritz

In order to assist your columnist in assembling material for this series of articles on the Radnor Fire Company, Andrew L. Fritz paid a visit to Wayne recently to reminisce about the early days of fire companies in Wayne.

Mr. Fritz, whose name is among the 24 signers of the 1906 charter of the present Fire Company, now lives in Upper Darby, although he was for many years a resident of Wayne.

In telling of the North Wayne Hose Company, which antedates the Wayne Chemical Company by several years, Mr. Fritz recalls that it consisted of a hose reel and little ladder truck, all hand drawn.

George Baker, who lived almost directly across the street from the building which was headquarters for the Hose Company and now known as the Legion House, was always immediately on the scene as soon as an alarm came in, thereby earning his appelation of “chief”. Among his faithful assistants in pulling the truck was Miss Mary Biles, who was later to become Mrs. Andrew Fritz. Another helper was a colored girl named Anna Miller.

As the majority of North Wayne homes were built slightly before those in South Wayne, it was natural that that section should have the first organized fire department.

When the Wayne Chemical Company was formed in South Wayne, its equipment consisted of hose reel and combination chemical wagon, according to Mr. Fritz. Sometimes the hose cart was hitched bak of the chemical wagon. At first hoses for this two-wheeled vehicle were obtained from Lienhardt’s Bakery, in which connection Mr. Fritz recalls that Dr. Lienhardt had great interest in the Fire Company at that time. Later, the horses came from R. H. Johnson’s “not very often the same two horses”, according to Mr. Fritz. Eber Siter, at that time the foreman for Johnson’s often brought the horses down to the fire house from the company’s stables.

Several very disastrous fires occurring in quick succession had much to do with the formation of the present fire company. The Andes home on the Lincoln Highway near Strafford avenue as well as a twin house nearby, was a total loss, as was the building on East Lancaster avenue, then occupied by “The Suburban”, when it caught fire a short time afterwards. The latter was on the site of the present Allan C. Hale Company building. All of these structures could have been saved had there been proper fire protection in the township.

According to Mr. Fritz, there was much casual talk along these lines in the pool room, which was then on the first floor of the Masonic Hall, where the Wayne Red Cross Headquarters is now located.

Charles H. Stewart, who was then secretary of the Board of Commissioners, became very much interested in the project of a well-organized, motorized fire department. Frederick H. Treat, another member of the Board of Commissioners, was equally enthusiastic and he undertook to interest other members of the Board. And so, in 1907 Radnor township acquired its first piece of automobile equipment, to be followed only a year later by a second piece.

This 1907 model was unique in that it was, according to local claims, the first gasoline-pumped and propelled fire engine in the world. Since no factory had blue prints on file for such a piece of fire apparatus, the Radnor Fire Company ordered the different parts to be specially designed before actual construction began. Of this motorized fire engine “The Fireman’s Herald”, under date of August 4, 1908, says:

“The Radnor Fire Company has for some time possessed a Knox combined automobile chemical and hose wagon, which is capable of a speed of 20-miles-an-hour, and carries two 35-gallon chemical tanks, two 3-gallon portable chemical extinguishers, 1,000 feet of 2 1/2 inch hose and minor equipment. It has answered 18 alarms without the loss of a minute by accident or hold-up of any sort.” A picture of this quaint old vehicle, along with that of Radnor’s latest piece of apparatus, illustrated last week’s column.

According to Mr. Fritz, this original Radnor fire engine at first received its full share of ridicule from the townspeople. And even before it was finally accepted by the Fire Company it had to undergo various tests. Mr. Fritz recalls that Mr. Treat designated the old road on the Wright place leading from Brook road to Old St. David’s Church as the final stretch along which the fire truck was to make a successful run. Much of the purchase price of this Knox chemical and hose wagon was raised by door-to-door solicitation of funds, although the Commissioners made a contribution from their treasury, also.

The second piece of fire-fighting apparatus was acquired in the spring of 1908, a year after the purchase of the first one. A full description of this engine appears in “The Fireman’s Herald” of April 4, 1908, in an article illustrated by a very clear picture of this now quaint vehicle. According to the Herald, “Radnor Fire Co. No. 1, of Wayne, Pa., has just received a fire engine of a new pattern. It is an automobile gasoline machine, and consists of a truck chassis made by the Knox Automobile Co., of Springfield, Mass., with an independent gasoline drive pump manufactured by the Waterous Engine Works Co., at St. Paul, Minn. The automobile engine is of the two-cylinder air-cooled type. The pump is driven by a separate engine constructed by the Waterous Company, and is of the four-six-inch rotary cylinder type. The cooling is accomplished by a pipe from the pump, and the amount of cooling is adjustable so as to be readily adapted to the requirements of service. There are two separate and distinct systems of ignition provided. The pump is connected by clutch directly with the engine shaft, and has a capacity of about 400 gallons a minute”.

The testing of this new engine was an occasion of much interest not only to local firemen, but to many outside the district as “The Fireman’s Herald” indicates in the same article:

“The test was made in the presence of many firemen from that section, and was personally superintended by F. J. Waterous, of the Waterous Company, in charge of Charles M. Wilkins. Draughting from a cistern and playing through 950 feet of hose, and a 1 1/2 inch nozzle, the engine forced a stream 101 feet; with a one-inch nozzle, 125 feet; with 500 feet of hose and a one-ince nozzle, 141 feed, and with a 1-1/8 inch nozzle, 130 feet. With 400 feet of hose a perpendicular stream was tried against a stack 155 feet high. A strong wind was blowing and it was impossible to keep the stream steadily against the stack, but the stream came within 15 feet of the top. With 3/4 and 7/8 inch nozzles two effective perpendicular streams were thrown a distance of 125 feet.

“From a hydrant through 50 feet of hose, and a 1-1/8 inch nozzle, water was thrown 141 feet, amply sufficient for any building in the Township; with an inch nozzle, 160 feet. Measurements were taken of solid drops of water only.”

The “housing” of this Knox-Waterous automobile was an occasion for a parade, a banquet and a ball, all of which will be described in next week’s column.

Period descriptions of N. Wayne houses – Wendell & Smith, W.L. Price

“Wholesale building” of Wayne Estate houses as explained in last week’s column, resulted in much duplication of the architectural plans of which there were, however, quite a number. Some of the first plans had distinctive names. One was the “Gabled Inn,” of which the first were scheduled to be built on North Wayne and Woodland avenues. However, a walk around present day North Wayne shows that this plan must have gained much favor as there are several “Gabled Inns” on most of the streets. 407 North Wayne avenue and its next door neighbor, 409, are examples of this type. Our booklet states that it “has good porches and contains reception room with large square hall and oak stairway, living room with open grate and mantel, dining room, pantry, kitchen and out kitchen on first floor, and five chambers and bathroom on second floor, with a room in the roof for servant’s use or storage purposes. A thoroughly cozy home. Plumbing as good as the best. Stairway of oak, furniture finish. Back stairs.” On a lot 60 x 200 this type house was built to sell for $5,500.

The “Flemish House” was somewhat larger, although planned for the same sized lot os the “Gables Inn.” It sold for $7,000. Its special features seem to have been “a portico on the front,” – handsome effects in colored glass” and a unique mantel. These were originally built on Chestnut and Beechtree lanes and on Woodland avenue. 407 Woodland avenue and 214 and 218 Beechtree lane are examples of this type.

The “Round End House,” designed after “Old English homes” was placed on a lot 120 x 225 and priced at $8,000. “A large open living room with liberal fireplace, yet secluded from hall, is the chief feature of this plan” according to our booklet. Originally scheduled for Woodland avenue, this type house is also found pretty generally throughout Wayne. Number 325 Beechtree lane is one example of this plan.

The “New Tower House” had a 155 foot lot and sold originally for $9,500. Numbers 213 and 131 Beechtree lane are of this type. This merited a very flowery description in the early advertisements. “A very picturesque exterior. Large well shaded portico on the front. A very attractive thirteen room house with carved oak staircase. Hardwood finish on the first floor and home-like corners for your furniture. Tasteful effects in stained glass rundells. The very best of everything in this home.”

Examples of the “Pillar House” may be seen at 310 Oak lane; 129 Walnut avenue and 419 North Wayne avenue. This house was built of stone and brick, “pebble coated to second story” on a lot 113 x 230. Here is the first mention of “Stationary soapstone washing tubs.” There were “two rooms third floor; good closets in every room – A novel effect has been produced by joining the back and main stairways and putting a glass window over both. This is quite a feature in this plan.” The price of this house was $8,250.

The architect for the “Gables Inn” was J. C. Worthington, with offices at 755 Walnut street in Philadelphia. The other four houses were designed by the firm of F. L. and W. L. Price, of 731 Walnut street.

While houses were being sold in North Wayne to the extent of “a half million dollars worth to satisfied purchasers . . . the south side, on Lancaster avenue, near St. Davids station and the adjoining territory, has another half a million dollars worth of houses now under way. Most of them will be ready for the early fall market.” (This is quoted from the September 1890 edition of the advertising brochure.) Plans for “all of these Country Homes, which are on a plateau in Delaware County’s highlands” had been adopted at this time. All were to have “the best of plumbing, with the novel goodness of steam heat and tasty decorations in stained glass and tile work and oak and plate glass finish for first floors. Places of so much progressiveness, with great and meritorious work, should receive your attention, either for present or future needs.”

These houses do not have the distinguishing names that were given to the North Wayne houses. However, the writer has endeavored to identify each of the different types by giving the location of one or more of these South Wayne and St. Davids houses. Here, as in the first houses built by Wendell and Smith, there is the same duplication throughout the sections. Prices are much the same as the earlier ones, but the gratifying phrase “and upwards” is always added! The architects were F. L. and W. L. Price, who designed so many of the North Wayne houses. Presumably the terms of sale were practically the same, “$2,000 in cash, or other terms can be arranged if desired” with title “guaranteed by prominent trust companies in Philadelphia and Wayne, who will give prompt attention to all conveyancing matters entrusted to their care.”

This development on the South side of the railroad will be described in next week’s column.

Descriptions from real estate booklets – Edison Electrical Light Plant

Those who read our column last week know that no householder among those purchasing Wayne Estate homes in the late eighties and early nineties needed to “fear a dark or lonely walk, or a gloomy house.” This was because of the “Edison Electrical Light” plant which was one of the prides of Wayne of the time, and well it might be, since parts of Philadelphia were still lighted by gas. And, indeed, Wayne was one of the first towns in the country to have electric light! Of it another advertisement, in addition to the one quoted last week, states: “The Edison incandescent light is generally used on the avenues and in the houses. The service is entirely satisfactory, and removes the fear of loneliness and makes the night time as pleasant as the day. This modern light has now become as safe and economical as gas for domestic use, while from a health standpoint it is far superior, for it cannot vitiate the air.” This particular advantage may be as novel to many of our readers as it was to the writer!

Of Wayne’s “clean wholesome water” our pamphlet states, “Generally speaking, rain water which falls in remote country-districts is the purest. It is this pure water that finds its way to the springs that abundantly supply the unrivaled water system of Wayne. This water is carefully protected from all local contaminations, and is pumped into the 250,000 gallon brick-lined reservoir, and distributed by gravity to the houses. The water supply of Wayne is absolutely free from deleterious mineral or organic matter; is clear and sparkling to the eye, and cool and pleasant to the taste.”

It must have been shortly after this was written that the original reservoir was enlarged – for a caption on the later one gives the capacity as 1,500,000 gallons. This picture is a most attractive one, showing the large body of water, “clear and sparkling,” entirely surrounded by a white picket fence and bordered by trees. The description reads “The quality of the water furnished to the inhabitants cannot be excelled. The growth of the town necessitating an increased supply, it was procured by means of artesian wells, remote from the built-up portion, and a new reservoir of large capacity was constructed upon a point so high that houses upon the highest hills in Wayne are supplied from it by gravity. The supply of water is ample, and its source being entirely in the control of the Wayne Estate, the amount can be increased as exigency arises, and its purity assured.”

It is not so many years since this reservoir located on the west side of Radnor road on the property now owned by Valley Forge Military Academy, went out of existence.

Among the “Town Conveniences” listed in the pamphlets and not already enumerated in our column are “a well-organized and equipped Fire Department and uniformed Police Patrol – which add to the safety of the town – “ And since these were the days before the advent of the automobile it was important that there was a “Good Livery Stable and Station Conveyances when they are needed. – These advantages, go to every purchaser, and the prices are less than elsewhere, where these conveniences cannot be obtained. – Wayne is thoroughly homelike, without the usual deprivations of country life, and its homes show a practical housekeeping wit in their planning – at no point near Philadelphia is there such activity in real estate, most of the purchases being made before the houses were finished. Business and professional people have made Wayne their permanent home, which demonstrates that its worth has met with suitable recognition. The wisdom of locating here has been demonstrated to the most conservative investors.”

The enterprise of Wendell and Smith, “Home Builders,” is witnessed by the fact that they had offices at both stations, Wayne and St. Davids, that were open all day. Houses could be inspected not only on week-days, but on Sundays as well. All of them were “within five minutes walk of the station.” And to these prospective purchasers these enterprising realtors stated, “Arrangement can be made to build any kind of a house you prefer, but a selection of one of the following plans will be to the advantage of the buyer, in that we will share with you the profit of wholesale building” – And many must have taken advantage of this “wholesale building,” judging by the vast duplication of houses which puzzles newcomers to our town of Wayne!

Original steam heat, sewage – central heating Edison Electrical Light Plant

Safeguards for the future health of home owners of the Wayne Estate houses were listed in one of several booklets printed in the late eighties and early nineties by Wendell and Smith, “Home Builders,” as “Pure Water and Air,” “Thoroughly Tight Underground Drainage,” “Substantial Highways,” “Edison Electric Light” and “Steam Heat from a Central Plant.”

Since the discontinuation of “central heat” only last month after some 60 years of continuous service has been a subject uppermost in the minds of many a homeowner, it is interesting to note how these early booklets advertised it.

One says: “Steam heat will be provided for these country home places for next winter. This is an economical, health-giving, and comfortable warmth fro homes. The regulation of the heat in our houses and the avoidance of too high a temperature in winter would certainly lessen the number of preventable diseases. This opinion is held by practically all physicians and sanitary experts, who agree that steam heat has assumed valuable importance to mankind’s health and comfort. It is only lately, however, that a practical system has been adopted in this country in any save the residences of the wealthy. “The Holly System” which will be in operation here, delivers the heat in the same way that water and gas reach your house, obviating the trouble and annoyance of heater attention.”

Two of the other booklets speak of the ease with which this heat is controlled by the occupants of the houses. “Civilized Society,” one advertisement states, “demands the best service which science can master in supplying its necessities and to practically minister to its everyday comforts. Steam heat for domestic use is the most modern application to those needs. A plant for this purpose has been erected in Southeastern Wayne, near St. Davids station, from which point the supply will be distributed to the houses of the town.

“Accustomed to the safe and economical city conveniences of light and water, we can hardly realize that invention has provided steam heat for dwelling houses in the country, and at a price about what is regularly paid for the use and care of heater fires. The heat is supplied by a pipe line into the houses, under the easy control of the occupants, and it is thoroughly safe. The system in use here is that of the Holly system which furnishes a remedy for the evils of impure air, excessive heat and bad ventilation, and also obviates the annoyances of heater attention and ashes and their removal.”

And as one who for many years regulated the temperature in her own home by the simple turn of a wheel-like valve just above the floor in the living room, the writer is more than willing to go on record that the system did “obviate the annoyances of heater attention.” In spite of the antiquated features of that Holly system many a homeowner has rebelled at exchanging it for a more modern gas, oil, or coal furnace. Besides which, many houses built for central heating have proved not too adaptable to individual furnaces.

Of drainage, one advertisement states in its opening sentence: “There are no cess-pools in Wayne.” Amplifying this statement another continues: “The perfect sewage system designed and constructed by Colonel George E. Waring, Jr., is in successful operation. It is not only a pride to its projector, but a wonder in the scientific world. To the utility of this system is due the fact that there is not a single cess-pool in Wayne, and that every house is underdrained. The waster from the house passes through sewage pipes into a common main and thence to a point probably a mile and a half from the Opera House, where by a most interesting process it is part purified, part neutralized, and part destroyed.”

So much for Wayne’s early sewage system. The history of the vicissitudes of later systems can be described adequately only by the members of the Board of Township Commissioners, who struggled valiantly with the perplixing aspects of local sewage over the years.

The promoters of early Wayne were obviously very proud of its lighting system, as witnessed by the following paragraph: “Light, after pure water and good drainage, is one of the necessary luxuries which the man of today demands in his search for comfort. No one would wish to live in a suburban town where the necessaries of life only were procurable, and the lack of satisfactory light keeps the residents of most suburban towns home at night. Wayne has a local Edison Electrical Light Plant, which illuminates its avenues and its homes, and no householder need fear a dark or lonely walk, or a gloomy house.”

Old real estate booklets – Wendell & Smith, George W. Childs

“Out in the country Wayne and St. Davids have ready for you today the best homes that can be built.” In bold lettering this statement appears in the center of a 20 by 28 inch circular distributed in 1890 by Wendell and Smith to advertise the “Wayne Estate” houses that are to this day such an integral part of our community.

Built throughout both North and South Wayne as well as in St. Davids, these houses of substantial construction and roomy interior still survive among neighboring homes of newer design and of more modern architecture. They are not beautiful, and yet they have a charm of their own. Their elaborately gabled roofs are one of their most distinguishing exterior features. Most of them are of at least partial stone construction, some are shingled, others pebble-coated. Many originally had a stained-glass window or two somewhere in the house. Other windows are often of heavy plate glass while stairways and mantle places are of massive oak, often elaborately carved.

Alterations, remodeling and additions never disguise these houses, frequently as these changes have been made by succeeding owners. They are still the ornate houses of the 1890 period so aptly described by their original designations, “The Flemish House,” the “New Tower House,” the Round End House,” the “Gables Inn” and the “Pillar House.” The repetition of the same types throughout the community is a source of interest, often of amazement to the newcomer. It is, in fact, one of the most distinguishing features of our community.

Most of the houses have always been surrounded by spacious grounds. Few have been either demolished or destroyed by fire. Sixty years after their construction these Wayne Estate houses still stand serenely in our midst.

Wayne as a town was founded by Anthony J. Drexel and George W. Childs. From 1887 to about 1890 its population increased from 300 to 2500. Much of this increase was due to the large building operation sponsored by Mr. Childs and described in the advertisement which I have already quoted.

These “best homes” have “every city convenience, pure water in abundance, underground drainage, electric light and steam heating. The highways are spacious and substantial. There are good schools, stores and churches, a banking institution, fire department and police patrol.”

Other conveniences as listed included “telegraph, telephone and Adams Express Service, two newspapers, seven daily mails, a town hall for entertainments, a casino for recreation.”

Then, our description continues, “these varied conveniences, unobtainable elsewhere outside of large cities, put these places pre-eminently in advance of all suburban towns, and a salubrious climate, where malaria is unknown, give to home buyers extraordinary assurance for comfort and health. This opportunity will exist for a short time only, for when the ground that is connected with the water and drainage system is built up, each owner will demand a premium.”

“The advantages go to every purchaser and the prices are less than elsewhere, where these conveniences cannot be obtained. Business and professional people have made permanent homes here, which demonstrates that its worth has met with suitable recognition while the wisdom of locating here is acknowledged by the most conservative investors.”

Present day real estate ad writers could well take note of some of this phrasing. And this in not all, as the advertisement of sixty years ago continues, “This locality is far superior to the usual unestablished places in the suburbs of Philadelphia. It has every general improvement in perfect working order and was founded by George W. Childs, of Philadelphia, who is the protector of its prosperity, present and future, and who is personally represented by Mr. Frank Smith, the manager of Wayne Estate, under whose supervision all general improvements are made and maintained and who is always on the grounds to show visitors the properties. His office is now on Wayne avenue, south of the railroad.”

The office referred to is the shop now occupied by Wayne Frosted Foods, Inc. In addition to this Wayne office there was “the new one for the public comfort at St. Davids station.” This is the attractive small stone residence southwest of the station and familiar to all St. Davids commuters.

Wendell and Smith were the builders of these houses which will be described in succeeding issues of this column, since much interesting material has been made available to the writer by Miss Beatrice Tees and Joseph M. Fronefield, 3d.

”Wayne Times”, period descriptions, population, Radnor Panther

Last week I wrote of the “Town Fathers” of early Wayne and of one “Town Mother”, Mrs. Helena Lienhardt. The bakery the latter established here in 1885 is still actively engaged in business in the same Pike location in which it was founded. Several other businesses established at about that time are still in existence, among them Adelberger’s nurseries; L. K. Burket and Brother, coal and feed; R. H. Johnson Company, contractors, and the Joseph Thomas nurseries near Martin’s Dam.

In 1885 the “Wayne Times” was founded by W. Chandler Stewart, W. W. Pinkerton, and F. O. Pinkerton. At a later date its name was changed to the one with which we are all familiar, “The Suburban and Wayne Times.” Among notes of one Wayne historian I find the following: “Fired with ambition to write, W. W. Pinkerton, F. O. Pinkerton, and W. Chandler Stewart started the “Wayne Times”. That was in 1885. Little did they think that small acorn would become the great oak under whose branches the whole population of this day would sit and read.”

In an 1882 issue of the old “Public Ledger”, Wayne had a very prominent place when the paper brought out a full page picture of North Wayne. The photographer climbed to the cupola of Louella House to take the picture. This was a tremendous novelty in the newspaper fashions of that time; indeed, the Ledger’s first venture in that line. The newspaper at that time was owned in part by George W. Childs, who had much to do with real estate development in Wayne in the eighties and nineties. It is said that when his building operation here was pretty well under way, he brought Mr. Harjes, the French member of the Ledger corporation, out to see the houses and the latter was very much impressed.

In 1881 the town of Louella (as Wayne was then called) was listed as having a population of one hundred inhabitants. But is was not long thereafter that it began to expand and to develop from the farming section as it was then. As the development took place, of course it was the obvious thing to have as constable “a strong and valiant man to safeguard the growing town . . . and one Charlie Cressman was impounded for that arduous duty. He had a flea-bitten, rangy mare and a gig. No one ever recalls seeing him walk. He always held the reins up high and jerked them constantly. Charlie had one dominant characteristic-he always chewed! As he jerked the reins and the mare speeded up or slowed down to a walk-so Charlie chewed!

“One night, we are told, when life was very dull in the hamlet and no murders, robberies or kidnappings were taking place, Charlie got desperate and pulled out his pistol. He fired several vicious shots into the the air-but only echo answered.

“When the Lyceum became the Wayne Opera House and we gave ‘The Mikado’ and ‘Patience’ and the famous Euterpean Concerts were held there, Charlie was the janitor and curtain-raiser. And many a timid actor had a hearty slap of encouragement on the back before the curtain was jerked up.”

From another source comes an amusing story of Charlie and the “Radnor Panther.” It seems that there was a rumor that a wild beast had escaped from a circus and was roaming in the dense woods of North Wayne. People were terrified at night by roars and loud screams, but nobody had actually seen the supposed mountain lion. Francis Fenimore and Robert Martin; who lived close to these woods, contributed theories about the animal in amusing chits in the Wayne Times. And then one Saturday when Wayne was bustling with business, Charlie Cressman was seen slowly driving up the Pike holding a long rifle in one hand, while on his lap was the “panther” with claws hanging down, blood dripping from its jaws.

The truth, as it came to light later, was that a couple of local wags had secured an animal rug and stuffed it with straw, with tomato ketchup to simulate blood. The crowds of men and boys who followed the wagon were completely fooled by the practical joke, according to my informant, wo adds, “Those were the days when small things like this afforded the people fun and amusement for days.”

For the information in this article I am indebted to several sources, among them Miss Josephine W. Scott, W. W. Schultz, and the 1948 Historical Record and Business Guide of Wayne.

Early Wayne residential fires, sports – NWPA, WPSA

Since writing in last week’s column of fire protection in Wayne in the early days of our community, further information on the subject has come to me from George W. Schultz, of Reading, Pa., though his daughter, Mrs. Robert W. A. Wood. In telling of the formation of Protective Associations “on both sides of the village,” Mr. Schultz describes organized fire fighting as one of their chief objects. As Wayne’s population began to increase in the late eighties, these Associations became necessary in the absence of any municipal government. They were supported by dues paid by property owners and had several noteworthy purposes in addition to fire protection. These included the improvement and beautification of properties, the maintenance of street lights and of sidewalks and the guarding of public health and safety. Among their manifold duties were those to provide for the collection of ashes and of garbage and to remove snow from the pavements in the winter.

The North Wayne Protective Association, formed in 1885 by seven residents of North Wayne and the Wayne Public Safety Association organized in 1890, have both functioned continuously since their inception, each, at this time, with a large membership still interested in all civic problems.

Mr. Schultz describes in amusing fashion two of his own youthful experiences as a volunteer fireman. “When my parents settled on Walnut avenue, North Wayne,” he writes, “a committee called and announced that in event of emergency, all young men were expected to turn out and act as volunteer firemen.

“Sure enough, it was not long before my brothers and I were awakened one night by ‘Fritz’ Hallowell’s ringing a dinner bell. Tumbling out in the dark, we followed some running forms to John P. Wood’s stable where we were ordered to ‘man the pumper!’ We had never seen the machine nor had any drills. It was a 500 gallon hogshead of water on two wheels and a hand pump attached. Some grabbed the ropes tied to the tongue of the ‘engine’ and others pushed. It ran all right down hill, but the fire being located by glare in the sky as up on a steep hill on Chamounix road, St. Davids, it was a strenuous effort to get the apparatus to the scene, egged on by raucous yells of the fire chief.

The house appeared to be vacant in the late fall and the blaze was, of course, stimulated by the amateur fire fighters breaking the rear windows with axes. A brave fireman climbed the porch and the helpers worked hard on the lever. The only result was a garden hose –am squirted into a second story broken window. The house burned to the ground!

Next year we were called out again in the night to operate on a fire on middle Walnut avenue. One of the young men rushed around battering in doors and with smoke rolling out, dashed upstairs and threw out of windows mirrors, –ures, pitchers, bowls and any other loose articles, all of which were smashed on the lawn. Charley Gleason, and Tony peterson emerged triumphantly bearing two piano legs that had been chopped off instead of being unscrewed. The loss was total!”

Mr. Schultz is an authority, too, on the sports and recreations of early Wayne. He tells of an organization, first called “The Merivale Club” and later “The Radnor Cricket Club.” It was housed in a frame building near the railroad in North Wayne, which later burned down. In its early days it had a baseball diamond and a board backstop, surmounted by a pavilion reached by stairs from the rear. The Club had two tennis courts, billiards and bowling. Among the young men who were members were Robert Hare Powel, Henry Baring Powel, Jack Claghorn, Morris Wetherill, Frank Howley and George and William Schultz. Some of this group later started a golf club on the Francis Fenimore land in St. Davids.

In addition to sports on their own grounds and to their Club house, some of the Merrivale Club members took to early Sunday morning hikes, the group eventually being known as “The Walkers.” Among them were David Knickerbacker Boyd, the architect; Billy Brown, son of the then publisher of the Wayne Times; Charles Gleason, Lee Harrison, Bill Everly and the Schultz brothers. the rambles of these hikers took them cross country towards King of Prussia, a section that was mostly woods and farms then. If unobserved, they were not above taking a little refreshment from stone spring houses in the way of “a dipper of rich cream off a crock in the cold spring water!”

After the Cricket Club came the Swimming Club, located at the famous Kelly’s Dam in North Wayne. Then there was the Bicycle Club, with its Club House located on the pike north of the post office and later still there was the organization which was to develop into the St. Davids Golf Club.

From time to time all of these sports groups of Wayne’s early days will be described in this column.