Lincoln County News | Newcastle, ME
Friday, February 5, 2016 Serving Maine and Lincoln County for over a century. Volume 141 Issue 05

CHAM

home : current news : news February 5, 2016

9/4/2013 2:00:00 PM
Waldoboro Fire Chief Seeks New Fire Museum To House Historic Fire Engines
A rendering by Alan Eastman of the Waldoboro Fire Department's first station, known as the Glidden Street Engine House. Fire Chief Paul Smeltzer hopes to recreate the facade of the building on the front of a future fire museum.
A rendering by Alan Eastman of the Waldoboro Fire Department's first station, known as the Glidden Street Engine House. Fire Chief Paul Smeltzer hopes to recreate the facade of the building on the front of a future fire museum.
By Dominik Lobkowicz


With the dust barely settled from Waldoboro Fire Department's 175th Anniversary Celebration in August, Chief Paul Smeltzer is already hoping and dreaming about the next big project: a museum to showcase memorabilia and the department's four historic fire engines.

According to Smeltzer, the Waldoborough Historical Society has a very impressive collection of fire engines, including the town's first three fire engines as well as a fourth, which was used exclusively for firefighters' competitions.

"I can say with a great deal of confidence that no other town in the country the size of Waldoboro has a collection of antique hand tubs like we have, and I think an appropriate fire museum might even draw some visitors," Smeltzer said.

The engines are normally tucked away into a corner of the historical society museum, Smeltzer said, and having the engines out and about for the anniversary celebration gave everyone a better chance to see them and generated a lot of pride within the department and interest both within the department and the community.

For the fire museum, Smeltzer has in mind a long building between the barn and cattle pound at the historical society, featuring a replica facade of the town's first fire station on Glidden Street.

Though no known photographs survive, an artist has created a rendering of the front of the Glidden Street station based on descriptions, Smeltzer said.

Both Smeltzer and Waldoborough Historical Society President Jean Lawrence have confirmed interest in the project from at least a few members in both their organizations.

"If there were a place that would be a part of the museum complex, I don't see how anybody could disagree with the dream, I really don't," Lawrence said.

Smeltzer said discussions in the coming weeks will help determine whether or not the project will be doable. "The folks that have been discussing it so far have great support for it," he said.

"We love them dearly," Lawrence said of the fire engines, "and we've taken care of them, yet we also love the firemen because they are very very interested in the machines and they have done wonders with the Water Witch [the town's first fire engine]."

Still, a new museum building may be some time off.

Currently, the historical society is working on a capital campaign to finish an addition to one of their buildings, and the society, the fire department, and the Waldoboro Public Library need to finish compiling an exhibit, Lawrence said.

The three groups had received a grant to buy some equipment and in return need to complete an exhibit on the history of Waldoboro Fire Department to be put on the Maine Memory Network, a digital museum by the Maine Historical Society, Lawrence said.

"The land is there, certainly the support is there. When the firemen get their feet under them and are ready to tackle other things, maybe there would be a group that would be willing to tackle something such as [the fire museum]," Lawrence said.

Meanwhile, Smeltzer said he will be working to drum up more support.

"I'm anxious to get this project going," Smeltzer said. "I'm confident it will be successful."



Advanced Search

Contact Us
Hammond
Email Subscription
Local Online
Weather
Atlantic
WCSH
Photos






COLBY

ATLA
Lincoln County News
PH: 207-563-3171 | Fax: 207-563-3127
Mailing Address: PO Box 36, Damariscotta, ME 04543 | Plant Location: 116 Mills Rd., Newcastle, ME
copyright 2016 The Lincoln County News

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved