On April 29, 1895 a resolution was adopted constituting more than 20 freeholders of
Union Township, where they presented a petition asking to lay off a section of the Township as a Fire District. It read as follows:
“Resolved that the prayer of the petition be granted and that the following part of the
said Township being the part specified in said petition, be laid off into a Fire District and shall
be known as Fire District No. 1. Said being bounded on the North by Colfax Avenue, from the
Cranford line to Locust Street, so to Roselle Avenue, on Roselle Avenue to the Lehigh Valley
Rail Road, along said Rail Road to Galloping Hill Road, east on Galloping Hill Road to Magie
Town Road, on Magie Town Road to Elizabeth City Line, to the track of the Central Rail Road,
on the South by the Central Rail Road, and the West by the Cranford City Line.”
On April 16, 1901, Roselle Park became separated from Union Township, being given
over by the Township Commissioners, a Mayor, six councilmen, tax assessor, tax collector and
a justice of the peace were elected.
The fact being: ROSELLE PARK WAS BORN.
On April 22, 1901 they held their first Council meeting. At this meeting Alfred Atkins, Paul Hockhart and Robert Gordon were appointed to the Fire, Light and License committee.
At a meeting of our Borough Council, held on September 31, 1901, the Council accepted a deed for the property and the real estate; also a check for the sum of $3.41 from the Fire Marshal of District No. 1 Union Township. This property was the lot where our old Borough Hall and Fire House stood on Chestnut Street in the center of town.
At this meeting Ordinance No. 8 was set up establishing a Fire Department, dividing the Borough into three parts, with a Fire Company for each. Lorraine Hose Company #1 located
in the eastern part of the Borough, Central Hose Company #2 hook and ladder located in the
central portion of town, and the Faitoute Hose Company No. 3 located in the western part of
A resolution was also passed that the Firemen now in service would continue as firemen
in the Fire Department of this Borough, and shall not be removed without just cause. The service of each such fireman while in the service of said Fire Commissioners shall be allowed him as part of the seven years necessary to make him an Exempt Fireman of this Borough and State.
Lorraine Hose Company #1
Lorraine Hose Company, which is actually older than Roselle Park itself, was the first company to organize as early as April, 1895 paying only $8.00 a month rent to S.A. Drake Real Estate Co. of Lincoln, Middlesex County for their firehouse in Lorraine, Union County.
They were also partially reimbursed $6.00 a month by the Union District No. 1 Commissioners for rent and $5.00 a month for the use of the hose carriage. All members paid an initiation fee of $1.00 and received a badge and key. Dues after were $.25 cents a month.
The apparatus used was a fancy four-wheeled hose carriage drawn by Mr. Bender’s horse when there was a fire. The original name of the Lorraine Hose Company was Bender Hose
Company obviously named after Mr. John C. Bender when Roselle Park was a part of Union Township.
After forming the Bender Hose Company, Mr. Bender along with other members placed
and paid for the first fire hydrant, which is located east of Linden Road on Westfield Avenue.
The water and hydrant was supplied by the Plainfield-Union Water Company. Mr. Bender
also organized to have the water supplied to all the streets north of Westfield Avenue.
Prior to 1895, the firehouse that was an existing grocery store at the time had stood in
the middle of what is now Westfield Avenue. It was moved to its present location when they
laid the now extinct trolley car tracks and widened Westfield Avenue. All mayor and Council
meetings were held in the Lorraine Hose Company building. People present at those meetings
included: William D. Finkle, Frank Fierer, John C. Bender, William Shaw and Robert Gordon,
whom the Robert Gordon School was named.