Rollinsford, NH, Fire Department Celebrates 100 Years With a Field Day
The Rollinsford Fire Department celebrates its 100th anniversary Saturday with a field day that includes a parade in the morning, a muster in the afternoon, and fireworks at night.
The day starts with a parade that steps off at the firehouse on Main Street at 11 a.m. The festivities then continue with a muster competition at the Gold Star Park ball field for both firefighters and kids. Fireworks at dusk end the celebration around 8:15 p.m.
The American Legion will offer lunch as a fundraiser from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
The public is invited to join in the festivities.
"The fire company was established February 1, 1922, and we're celebrating it in the traditional fire department way of having a field day, which is something every town on the Seacoast held in the 70s into the 90s, and they kind of fell off," Anthony St. Hilaire, president of the Rollinsford Firefighters Association and the department's historian, told Seacoast Current.
Fire trucks will be on display during the afternoon, and the Rollinsford Police Association will host a spaghetti dinner at 4 p.m. at the American Legion.
The firefighters will also revive another tradition, the muster, in which they'll compete to connect firehoses for the fastest time, climbing ladders, and a mystery event.
"It will be kind of leading back to the original origins of firefighting," St. Hilaire said.
There will also be a scaled down kids version of the muster.
While 100 years is quite the milestone, Rollinsford is not the oldest fire company on the Seacaost.
"The city of Dover, the city of Portsmouth, those departments are quite older," St. Hilaire said.
Dover's fire company was formed in 1869 while Portsmouth's dates back to 1762 with the formation of the "Friendly Fire Society."
Fire companies were privately organized and privately funded by companies to protect their property. Rollinsford's fire company was the Excelsior Fire Company #2.
"It was originally created by the Salmon Falls Mill to protect their building downtown. As time progresses, the town wound up funding and organizing the official Rollinsford fire department, Chemical Engine Company 3," St. Hilaire said.
Chief Engineer Oliver Petit-Clair was the final Chief of Excelsior Engine Company 2 and subsequently the first Chief of the Rollinsford Fire Department.
Towns and cities eventually created their own departments as time went on.